Singapore: Andrew Barisic struck twice to help East Bengal climb to the top of the table with a 4-2 win over a profligate Tampines Rovers in their group H AFC Cup match at the Jalan Besar Stadium here Wednesday.
Having won their second match, East Bengal went atop the table with seven points from three matches and kept their pre-quarterfinal hopes alive. It was East Bengal coach Trevor James Morgan's previous experience in Singapore that came handy after they got a surprise 1-0 lead with a 19th-minute own goal by Anaz Hadee.
However, the Rovers were quick to respond equalising through their Serbian recruit Sead Hadzibulic in the 28th minute as both the teams were locked 1-1 at halftime. East Bengal's Aussie forward Barisic opened his account in the 62nd minute to give them a 2-1 lead while Edeh Chidi made it 3-1 two minutes later.
Rovers found the target the next minute when Khairul Amri pulled one back for the home outfit. But the Rovers could not find another equaliser, while East Bengal completed the tally with Barisic completing his double in the 87th minute to hand them a fine away win.
Morgan, who was a coach in the S-League, had just one draw from nine previous matches. So, the win is a first for the Englishman. The home side, who is the S-League leaders with 18 points from six matches, thus remained winless from three matches.