After conceding the first goal, Trevor Morgan's troops roared back to put four past their Goan counterparts with hat-trick hero Edeh Chidi leading the onslaught.A hat-trick from Edeh Chidi helped East Bengal secure a 4-1 victory over Salgaocar FC at the Duler Stadium in Goa, in a round 14 fixture of the I-League on Saturday.
Marcus Mascarenhas (8') put the home side ahead while Edeh Chidi's goals coming in the 36th, 65th and 81st were complimented by a 59th minute strike from Robin Singh.
David Booth introduced two changes to his side that started against ONGC FC, with Dinesh Singh and Brian Mascarenhas coming in, while the Red and Gold saw as many as five changes from their last match against Mumbai FC.
It took only until the eighth minute for the opener as the midfield play between Quinton Jacob and Francis Fernandes led to the ball being flicked over East Bengal defender Uga Okpara by Milagres Gonsalves toward Marcus Mascarenhas who composed himself before cutting past Arnab Mondal and went on to beat Abhijit Mondal in goal.
Thereafter, Lalrindika Ralte's long ball to Chidi in the 17th minute saw the East Bengal striker manage to sneak past Karanjit Singh but found himself too close to the touch-line and hence passed to Robin Singh whose shot was directed straight to the Salgaocar custodian.
Augustin Fernandes looked motivated after being named man of the match in his previous outing as the Salgaocar defender almost single-handedly kept away the threat of Chidi and Ishfaq Ahmed in the box.
Then came the equaliser, in the 36th minute, as Raju Gaikwad picked out Edeh Chidi who was sandwiched between Augustin Fernandes and Nicolau Colaco, while the East Bengal striker chested the ball down to produce a calm finish.
After a quiet beginning to the second half, it was East Bengal who surged ahead in the 59th minute as a scintillating run by Penn Orji who powered his way right from the half line towards the right wing, thus attracting almost all green shirts, played the ball to an unmarked Robin Singh who volleyed the same into the back of the net.
After the hour mark, a long ball by Mehtab Hussain was almost nonchalantly slotted home by Chidi to double his side's lead in the 65th minute.
By the 81st minute, the number of Salgaocar defenders made no difference to East Bengal as Mehtab Hussain set up Chidi for yet another goal as the Nigerian completed his hat-trick from outside the box.
The scoreline could have been better for Trevor Morgan's side with Robin Singh and Edeh Chidi failing to convert their chances on a couple of occasions.
The result bodes well for the visitors as they keep up the pace with Pune FC and Churchill Brothers at the top of the table as they sit in third place with 27 points from 13 games. Meanwhile, Salgaocar have slowly slipped into the eleventh place having garnered 10 points from their 12 games.
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