Kingfisher East Bengal got their year off to a great start as they
defeated Air India 2-1 in the 13th round of the I League encounter played at the Yuba Bharati Krinangan, Kolkata today.
Penn Orji turned out to be the savior for Kingfisher East Bengal scoring a brace in the 25th and 74th minute after Air India equalised early in the second half through Henry Ezeh in the 51st minute.
Air India started the match without Sandesh Gadkari, Mohammed Shafi and Kali Aluadeen while East Bengal missed the services of Mehtab Hussain ruled out due to suspensions.
East Bengal dominated early on in the match with Robin Singh hitting the post of a header in the 13th minute. Thereafter, East Bengal pressed further towards the Air India goal and eventually Penn Orji scored the first goal for Red & Gold placing the ball over the goalkeeper after defender Pratik Chowdhury failed to clear the ball. In the 34th minute Robin Singh struck the post a second time off a flick and the score stayed 1-0 till half time.
However, in the 51st minute Air India equalised when Henry Ezeh scored off a cross. Just when it looked like the match would end in a tie Penn Orji scored a second goal off a powerful strike from a Sanju Pradhan pass.
East Bengal held on the lead for rest of the match to register the victory against Air India.
Man of the Match was awarded to Penn Orji.