Kolkata, April 22 (IANS) A solitary strike from Nigerian forward Ranty Martins in the 55th minute of the game, sealed a crucial 1-0 victory for hosts East Bengal against Salgaocar FC in an I-League football match here at Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday.
With win, the local giants climbed a spot up in the points table to the fourth place, with 23 points from 14 games, while Salgaocar dropped down one place to the seventh spot with 14 points from 14 games.
The first half was a dull affair as both the sides failed to make it count with the ball.
Salgaocar forward Gurjinder Kumar had the best possible chance of the half as midfielder Douhou Pierre picked him up smartly but he only managed to shoot straight to East Bengal goalkeeper Abhijit Mondal who held on to the ball well.
But with the start of the second half, the home team showed aggression.
The hosts went ahead ten minutes into the second half as defender Robert Lalthlamuana sent in a lovely cross from the left across the face of the goal.
Forward Ranti Martins directed his header past Salgaocar goalie Subrata Paul.
The visitors had numerous chances to level the scoring in the second half but failed to score.