East Bengal romped to a 2-0 victory in Coimbatore on Saturday evening after brushing aside a meek and mild challenge from Chennai City. Marcos de La Espada (66’) scored his fifth of the season but it was Jaime Santos who starred, first with an assist and then with a goal (77’).
But the key players like Katsumi Yusa, Roberto Eslava and Fito continued to feature for the Lions.
Whereas, East Bengal’s interim coach Bastab Roy made three alterations to the side that went down 2-1 in the Kolkata derby to Mohun Bagan.
Lalthuammawia and Pintu Mahata were relegated to the bench and replaced by Mirshad Michu and Brandon Vanlalremdika respectively whereas Asheer Akhtar came in place of a suspended Marti Crespi.
It was a lacklustre start to the match as both sides were happy to exchange possession at regular intervals, with no attacking rhythm whatsoever.
East Bengal earned a fortuitous penalty in the 15th minute when the ball struck Pravitto Raju’s hand inside the box.
But Jaime Santos failed to beat Nauset Santana from the spot as the keeper jumped in the right direction and pulled off a brilliant save.
As the match progressed the attacking trio of Juan Mera, Vanlalremdika and Santos started combining well in the right flank and were threatening Chennai’s defence. In the 35th minute, Santos was sent through on goal by the Mizo winger but the Spaniard in a one-on-one position with Santana lost his composure.