Haokip and Ralte scored for the Red and Gold…

Churchill Brothers FC Goa suffered their third straight defeat in Hero I-League 2016-17 as Kingfisher East Bengal cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win at the Tilak Maidan, Vasco on Wednesday.

A headed goal from ‘Semboi’ Haokip and a direct corner goal from skipper Lalrindika Ralte in the first half sealed all three points for the Red and Gold brigade.

Both sides began with a sense of urgency and were in an attacking mode from the first whistle. Tackles were flying in and East Bengal suffered an early blow when they had to replace defender Anwar Ali in the third minute of the match.

The central defender appeared to injure himself while attempting a diving clearance. Ali had to be replaced by Gurwinder Singh.

That didn’t stop Trevor Morgan’s men as East Bengal continued in their attacking vein with forward Willis Plaza coming close on two occasions early on.

However, there were no clear-cut chances in the early exchanges and Churchill’s best opportunity was from a free-kick when Agnelo Colaco who was given a start tried a powerful shot from distance that hit the wall and went out.

However, as the game reached the half-hour mark, East Bengal punished a lapse in concentration by the Churchill defence.

Winger Nikhil Poojary snuck in behind left-back Fulganco Cardozo as he raced down the touchline before looping a low cross into the path of Thongkhosiem Haokip.

The Red Machines fell to their third straight defeat and have not scored a goal from open play this season.

Brandon did try to drag his team back into the game when he unleashed a dipping shot from around 35 yards out which had to be tipped over the bar by goalkeeper TP Rehenesh.

Thanks to the lead, East Bengal were in control for the remainder of the half as they were dictating the tempo of the match.

So much so that Lalrindika Ralte doubled East Bengal’s lead when he curled the ball straight into the net at the half-time mark.

The swerving corner kick curled its way into the far corner as the acrobatic attempt of Priyant Singh was not enough to deny East Bengal the second goal.

The Kolkata side went into half-time with an emphatic 2-0 lead.

In a bid to get back into the game, Churchill Brothers coach Alfred Fernandes took off Kingslee Fernandes and brought on his latest foreign recruit Bektur Talgat Ulu who made his debut.

Anthony Wolfe was also growing into the game and had a shot which blazed over.