A Jamie Santos Colado strike in the second half was enough to get the job done for Quess East Bengal against Indian Arrows at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) as the ‘Red & Golds’ climbed to second on the table after 12 games, five shy of leaders Chennai.
The Arrows will remain at eighth position with 13 points after an equal number of games. QEB’s Spanish coach Alejandro Garcia made two changes to the starting eleven from their previous game against Chennai. Regular Lalrindika Ralte was suspended and Kamalpreet got a start while Samad Ali Mallick sat on the bench as Lalram Chullova came back in after suspension.
The Arrows coach Floyd Pinto fielded an unchanged side from their thumping 3-0 victory against Shillong in their previous game. Santos it was, who had the first shot at goal in the 12th minute of the game when he latched onto a second ball and fired only for it to be way off the mark.
He then fed Joby Justin from the right flank but the premiere QEB striker’s header was well collected by Prabhsukhan Gill in the Arrows goal. The closest QEB came to scoring in the half, however, was when Frenchman Kassim Aidara’s scorcher from 20-25 yards out off a loose ball which resulted off a Chullova throw inside the box, hit the right upright and came back.
The winning goal came just three minutes into the second half. Joby latched on to a ball on the right flank, just a minute after he had attempted another wonderful cross from the same position, but this time cut the ball back into the box instead of driving it across.
The ball seemed to have been intercepted by the Arrows defence, but they fumbled and Santos lurking around, pounced on the opening and blasted it into the net.
The Arrows then had a couple of chances threw Rahul KP but the closest he came was the side-netting in the 81st minute. In the 84th, Joby again found Santos with a cross after darting inside the box with a fine-run, but the Spaniard could not connect for a tap home.
Defender Borja Gomez was adjudged Hero of the Match and left-back Manoj Mohammad saw red in injury time as the game drew to a fiery close.