Defending Calcutta Football League (CFL) champions East Bengal ran riot on Saturday afternoon at their home ground as they thrashed Peerless SC 5-1. Surabuddin Mollick scored his maiden CFL hat-trick to take his team to glory.
It was a rainy afternoon in Kolkata as the Red and Gold Brigade took field against a strong Peerless side who were also on a two matches winning streak. The conditions were not really favourable for either sides. The muddy and slippery ground did not allow the teams to play quality football.
Nonetheless Trinidad and Tobago international striker Willis Plaza scored his maiden goal this season to give the home side the much needed lead in the 29th minute from Brandon Vanlalremdika's corner. It was crucial for the striker to find his goal scoring boots as he was going through a rough patch of form.
After conceding Peerless took charge of the game and dominated the proceedings much to the spectators' surprise. Their positive approach help restore parity in the game when former East Bengal and India international player Syed Rahim Nabi scored in 37th minute. With the scoreboard flashing 1-1, the teams went into half time.
Khalid Jamil tweaked his tactics a bit in the second half bringing in Surabuddin Mollick and Gabriel Fernandes in place of Laldanmawia Ralte and VP Suhair. In a 4-5-1 formationa East Bengal concentrated on wing play.
The change did wonders for the Kolkata giants as Gabriel Fernandes scored his debut goal for the club to give East Bengal the lead again. In a span of 19 minutes, Surabuddin scored the maiden hat-trick of his career to guide his team to a thumping win.
Mollick's first goal came from Samad Ali Mallick's cross. The winger headed in a brilliant goal. The second came from Lalram Chullova's cross which he directly netted in. The third and final goal was an easy one as the player met a cross from Chullova inside the penalty box after opponent's last defender misjudged it. He comforatbly found the back of the net.
East Bengal once again move to the summit in the point's table with 3 wins from 3 games.
East Bengal Starting XI
Luis Barreto; Samad Ali Mullick, Guriwnder Singh, Carlyle Mitchell, Lalram Chullova; Laldanmawia Ralte, Prakash Sarkar, Mahmoud Al Amna, Brandon Vanlalremdika; Willis Plaza, VP Suhair.