From Our Correspondent
Shillong, Mar 31: Royal Wahingdoh FC continued their winning run beating the famed East Bengal 1-0 in a rescheduled round 9 Hero I-League match at the JN Stadium Shillong on Tuesday.
By virtue of the win, the Royals shot up to the second spot in the standings at least temporarily. The Royals are currently at 20 points from 11 games while East Bengal continues to be in the sixth spot with 13 points.
It was Godwin Franco who scored the decider for the hosts at the stroke of half hour. It was Franco's first goal in RWFC colours. It could have been a 2-0 win for the hosts but a Jackichand Singh goal towards the fag end of the first half was disallowed for offside.
However, post the first and only goal there was no looking back for the hosts who defended brilliantly towards the end of second half to thwart the East Bengal challenge.
Coach Santosh Kashyap was delighted with the win over the Kolkatans and stated that his side was a serious contender for the title this season.
Earlier, the hosts started spiritedly as the first opportunity landed for them in the fourth minute. A racing Densill Theobald was fouled just outside the box and Lalmangaihsanga set the set piece rrowly over the bar.
Later in the 12th minute Kim Yong had a chance to put the Royals ahead after being fed beautifully by Densill with a lofted pass. However, an advancing Subhashish Roy Chowdhury forced Kim to chip it over just wide of the nets on the left.
This was also the East Bengal custodian's last action in the match as he had to be stretchered off after a collision with Kim, with Abhijit Mondal taking his place.
A corner on the half-hour mark filly gave the home side the lead. Assigned with the kick in Jackichand Singh opted to pick out a lurking Godwin Franco outside the box, who let loose a right-footer to beat Mondal all ends out and give the hosts the lead.
Towards the end of the first half, Jackichand smashed one into the back of the net from inside the box sending the crowd into raptures. Unfortutely for the Royals, he was given offside by the linesman. Crossing over star striker Ranti Martins did come out with a few brilliant moves upfront but the efforts were not enough to change the fate of the tie.
Prem Kumar Singh was especially brilliant in front of the nets. The RWFC goalie made an excellent save to block an on-target Ranti Martins shot.
The Royals will next take on Bengaluru FC in an away match on April 3.