East Bengal trounce Army FC

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/b/baichungbhutia.jpg' class='caption'> East Bengal beat Army Football Club of Philippines 6-0 in the ASEAN Club football championship in Jakarta.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Baichung Bhutia struck five consecutive times as East Bengal almost assured themselves a berth in the quarterfinals of ASEAN Club football championship with a 6-0 rout of Army Football Club of Philippines today. After going down to Thai champions BEC Tero Sasana 0-1 in their opening Group D match, today's big win has virtually paved the way for a last eight berth for the Kolkata side, with the top two teams from each group progressing to the quarterfinals. East Bengal now tops Group D with three points, with a goal average of plus five. In the last group match, the Thai side will clash with Army FC on Friday. It was all one-way traffic after the two teams got a feel of the turf with Bhutia fine-tuning his shooting skills for the tougher matches ahead. He struck in the 23rd and 24th minutes as East Bengal led 2-0 at the break. Changing ends, Bhutia completed his hat-trick in the 49th minute before slamming two more in the 51st and 60th minute as the Philipinos trailed 0-5. Bhutia missed a double hat-trick when he failed to connect a header in the 70th minute and an on-rushing Mahesh Gawli fixed it with a powerful strike making it a rare half dozen. (PTI)

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