East Bengal ran out 2-0 winners over Churchill Brothers, courtesy two strikes from Haokip (31') and Ralte (45+1') at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco.
There were three changes in the Churchill line-up. Satish Singh, Clifford Miranda and Surchandra Singh made way for Fulganco Cardozo, Richard Costa and Agnelo Colaco. Meanwhile, Trevor Morgan started with the same first eleven that were victorious against DSK Shivajians.
The visitors got off to a torrid start as Anwar Ali had to be replaced with Gurwinder Singh due to an injury within the first five minutes of the match.
The Red and Golds created their first good chance in the 16th minute when Mehtab Hossain pulled a neat cutback for Willis Plaza from the right, but the Trinidad and Tobago striker completely miscued his shot from the edge of the box.
Youngster Nikhil Poojary showed tremendous pace down the right to beat his marker but his initial delivery into the box was blocked by Adil Khan only for Poojary to find Haokip on his second attempt. The new signing made no mistake as he directed his header smartly into the goal for East Bengal's opener.
Man City ready to bid for Oblak
Churchill's only notable attempt in the half was Brandon Fernandes making space for himself from about 30 yards out but Rehenesh was alert to tip it over.
Rowilson Rodrigues had to make a last-ditch tackle and conceded a corner as Plaza was bearing down on Priyant in goal. The ensuing corner saw Lalrindika Ralte's delivery sneaking into goal even though Ivan Bukenya claimed to have got a touch.
The Red Machines had a chance to get back into the match after about ten minutes in the second half but Wolfe smashed an effort wide off Brandon's pass from the left.
In the 63rd minute, Anselme spotted Priyant off his line and attempted to lob it into the open net but his effort was well wide. Bukenya too could have got his name on the scoresheet but his header off Mehtab's corner was off target.
Blockbuster quotes by Zico
A horrible backpass by Gurwinder could have cost East Bengal a goal in the 71st minute, but Rehenesh was alert to the danger and cleared it before the onrushing Wolfe capitalised.
The home side kept on attacking but Agnelo's shot was denied by the post following a diagonal cross by Wolfe with Rehenesh well beaten.
The win sees East Bengal climb to second on the table while Churchill are still looking for their first points of the season.
Trevor Morgan's side are all set to welcome champions Bengaluru FC at home next while the Goans have to travel away to take on DSK Shivajians.