Mumbai, Apr 29 (PTI) Willis Plaza struck a brace as East Bengal thrashed Mumbai FC 4-0 in their concluding match to finish third in the I-League, here today.
Coach Oscar Bruzon made two changes in the Mumbai team that drew against Shillong Lajong last Sunday.
The East Bengal attack was well-organised and they played at a very fast pace and with some swift moves often catching the Mumbai defence napping.
In the eight minute, Rowlin Borges worked with wing back Rahul Bheke to break free down the right. Borges after advancing deep sent a low ball into the area. Willis Plaza failed to connect but Bikash Jairu charged in from the left side and with an on-the-run essay found the roof of the net to give the visitors the lead.
Jairu who had an outstanding game was later adjudged the ‘Man-of-the-match’.
The Mumbai team survived from conceding the second goal in the very next minute, but Ansleme Wedson after creating space inside the area blasted over from close.
The home side fought on gallantly and made some determined efforts to find the equaliser. Their hard-working striker Victorino Fernandes had a couple of shots at goal and came close in the 31st minute, but his header from Lugun’s delivery from the left went wide off the upright.
Ten minutes later, East Bengal doubled the lead when Plaza after controlling the ball near the edge of area beat goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani with a snap shot. The ball brushed the fingertips of Kattimani.
Although the home side pressed hard after resumption but in a bid to get back into the game they let their guard down at the back and paid dearly as the visiting Bengal side added two more goals through Ansleme in the 62nd minute and Plaza in the 68th minute to finish with a deserving win.
Currently, Mumbai FC are in ninth place with 13 points ahead of Minerva Punjab who have 12 points but with a match in hand against DSK Shivajians on Sunday.
East Bengal with 33 points stay in third position.
Results: Mumbai FC 0 lost to East Bengal 4 (Bikash Jairu 8th, Willis Plaza 41st, 68th, Wedson Ansleme 62nd).
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.