Kolkata:A heavily depleted East Bengal threw up a surprise, defeating Mahindra United 1-0 in the 15th round of the I-league on Sunday.
This victory also gives East Bengal some breathing space at the eighth position with 15 points, three points apart from the ninth place Viva Kerala.
Mahindra United stay at 21 points from 15 outings.
East Bengal scored the all-important goal in the fifth minute of the match when Snehasish Chakraborty, Debobrata Roy and Rahim Nabi combined among themselves a series of passes and Rahim Nabi lobbed the ball into the net.
Mahindra United got their best chance midway through the first half when Surojit Bose found Susil Kumar in the open with a through pass. However the striker could not find the mark with Subrata Pal at his mercy.
The game, otherwise, never rose to great heights with both the teams trying to win the battle in the mid-field. Alvito D'Cunha was brilliant through out the first half and the whole team played with a tenacity not seen before in the I-league.
As for, Derek Perrira's Mahindra United they could not lift their game even with a depleted East Bengal at the other end.