East Bengal recovered from an early slump and pump in three goals in the second-half to drub Air India 3-1 in the ONGC I-League football tournament at Yuba Bharati Krirangan (YBK) at Salt Lake on Saturday.
The win helped East Bengal close in on Air India with 16 points in their kitty from 14 matches, while the latter remained on 17.
As the East Bengal defenders put up a sloppy show during the first half of the match, the Airmen failed to capitalise on the situation.
Much credit for grounding the Airmen go to East Bengal's substitute Sanju Pradhan, who replaced Jayanta Sen.
The medio was instrumental in the first goal as Yusif Yakubu scored the first goal in 48th minute off Pradhan's brilliant pass.
Yakubu netted his second in 81st minute after Sunil Chhetri scored the second goal in 56th minute. Air India had the only consolation goal through Subhash Singh two minutes before the end of regulation time.