Mapusa: Edeh Chidi scored a hat-trick to power East Bengal to a spectacular come-from-behind 4-1 victory over Salgaocar in a 13th round I-league encounter at the Duler ground, here on Saturday. The red-and-gold brigade now have 27 points from 13 matches and moved ahead of Dempo to third place.
Salgaocar, who were looking for their second win on this ground, started impressively and took the lead in the 8th minute. But East Bengal, who had never won against Salgaocar for the last 12 years in Goa, regrouped and equalised in the 36th minute through Chidi as teams were locked 1-1 at half-time.
East Bengal pumped in three more goals in the second half courtesy Robin Singh(59th) and Chidi who completed his hat-trick when he scored in the 65th and 81st minute. Salgaocar, determined to score their second win on the newly laid astroturf ground, started well and took the lead early in the 8th minute, when Marcus Mascarenhas, who controlled the ball before cutting past Arnab Mondal and beat Abhijit Mondal in the goal in the eighth minute.
East Bengal restored parity in the 36th minute as Raju Gaekwad squeezed the ball between defender Augustin Fernandes and Nicolau Colaco to Chidi who chested the ball down and slotted it home. It looked Salgaocar would take the fight into the rival camp but two goals in a span of six minutes almost demoralised the team.
First, Pen Orji made a super run on the right flank and played the ball to Robin Singh who volleyed home the ball to the back of the net in the 59th minute and then Chidi who was in awesome form troubled the rival defence constantly and scored two more goals.
A long ball by Mehtab Hussain to Chidi who found the net with ease from inside the box in the 65th minute while his third goal came when Mehtab Hussain again set him up on the top of the box who uncorked the shot that found the net.