Matti Steinmann's first-half strike proved to be the difference as SC East Bengal eased past Bengaluru FC 1-0 to record their second win of the ISL at the Fatorda on Saturday.
SCEB are now unbeaten in their last five games, while it was BFC's fourth consecutive defeat.
Erik Paartalu returned to the starting XI after serving his one-match suspension as Naushad Moosa made four changes in his first game as interim coach. While Udanta Singh started as well, Moosa handed first starts to the defenders Parag Srivas and Ajith Kumar.
SCEB made just one change with Jacques Maghoma replacing Aaron Amadi-Holloway. Skipper Daniel Fox made the line-up after his red card against FC Goa was earlier overturned.
Bengaluru had a few early chances - the best of which saw Cleiton Silva head the ball into the ground and watched it bounce over from inside the six-yard box.
Steinmann put SCEB in the lead in the 20th minute with a fine outside-foot finish. Ajith and Juanan did not deal with Ankit Mukherjee's cross, and it found Narayan Das on the left. Narayan then played a low cross to Steinmann in the middle, who scored his third of the season.
SCEB were in total control of the game at this point. The Kolkata side created a couple of chances before the half-hour mark. Ankit sent in a perfect cross into the box, but Narayan's diving finish diverted it wide. Minutes later, another chance went begging for SCEB, as Harmanpreet Singh couldn't get to the end of Bright's through pass.
Bengaluru put up a much-improved performance in the second half. Chhetri played a one-two with Kristian Opseth and on entering the box tried his luck with a powerful strike but his effort was saved by Debjit Majumder.
Clearly the better side in the second half, Bengaluru continued with their dominance but a goal eluded them. At the hour mark, it was Chhetri once again with a ferocious strike from outside the box, but Debjit saved well at his near post. They piled on the pressure in the final minutes, but SCEB's defense stood tall to deny BFC an equaliser.
The win means SCEB go to ten points in ten, although they remain in ninth place, behind Chennaiyin on goal difference. They face Kerala Blasters next on the 15th. Bengaluru remain sixth with 12 points in ten, and next face NorthEast United on the 12th.
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