LUDHIANA: Kingfisher East Bengal rode on a maverick performance by the attackers to attain the pole position, thanks to their better goal difference over the arch-rivals Mohun Bagan. The Red & Golds completely outplayed debutants Minerva Punjab FC by an unassailable 5-0 scoreline.
Trevor Morgan’s striking Trio Robin Singh (65′), Wills Plaza (40′) and Wedson Anselme (9′, 64′, 66′) all found their names on the scoresheet today with Anselme bagging a maverick hat-trick to win the Hero of the Match award.
Trevor Morgan made just the one change from the team that defeated Bengaluru FC. Robin Singh started up front alongside Willis Plaza in place of Amirov. Surinder Singh decided to start with Ivan Filatov and Manandeep Singh up front while Anirudh Thapa and Victor Amobi were deployed on the wings.
Wedson headed it home in the ninth minute to put the away team in the driver’s seat and there were no looking back from them since then.
The Kolkatan outfit then doubled the lead in the 40th minute when Robin Singh played an overlapping Bheke clear on the right wing. Bheke’s cross into the box was finished off by a waiting Willis Plaza with the Minervan defence looking bemused.
The first half ended with the scoreline reading 0-2 in favour of the visitors.
There was no fightback from Surinder Singh’s side in the second half as East Bengal went on to romp past The Warriors. The Red & Golds were awarded a penalty in the 63rd minute when Arashpreet handled a goal-bound shot from Wedson Anselme. The Haitian went on to score from the penalty spot to pull East Bengal ahead by 3 goals, leaving the hme crowd bewildered.
The team from Kolkata then turned on the charm with two more quick-fire goals. In the very next minute, Simranjeet Singh lost the ball in midfield and Robin Singh added another one, to bring his tally to two in the current season.
After two minutes, Wedson Anselme sealed his hat-trick by latching on to Willis Plaza’s pass and tucking away a neatly-executed finish to put the tally beyond the homies’ reach.
Though Minerva had a few chances to grab a consolation goal, Kingfisher East Bengal held firm to notch three points and go top of the league with 13 points from 5 matches. Minerva Punjab, on the other hand, are still tottering at the bottom of the table with the sole point, bagged from the first away fixture against Chennai City FC.