KOLKATA: Avenging their away defeat, East Bengal cruised to an emphatic 3-0 win at home against Balestier Khalsa in a 2015 AFC Cup Group F encounter at the Saltlake stadium here on Tuesday.
After defender Baldeep Singh broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute, Balestier’s Nurullah Hussein put the ball into his own goal, and Ranti Martins struck 15 minutes before the end of regulation time to ensure full points for the red and gold brigade. The match began at a slow pace. But East Bengal went ahead from a Shylo Malswamtlunga corner that found Baldeep, who rammed in a powerful header.
The only chance for Balestier in the first half came eight minutes into the game when Croatian Miroslav Kristic held up the ball before setting it up for team-mate Serbian defender Emir Lotinac whose effort saw the side-netting being disturbed.
The home team went into halftime with a 1-0 advantage. They had a crisp start after the breather too as Baldeep was again through on goal, but he shot wide.
Four minutes from the hour mark, Ignatius Ang Yu Heng’s corner from the right almost crept in but East Bengal were saved as it came off the crossbar. The visitors were jolted again in the 70th minute as Balestier defender Nurullah Hussein managed to put the ball into his own net while attempting to clear a Baldeep cross.
Martins put the final nail in the Balestier coffin as he ran hard and got to a ball from Baldeep and struck it past a diving Zailful Nizam Ainto the net. Despite the result, East Bengal are third on the table with four points from four games.