I-League: East Bengal thrash Mumbai to end strongly

Mumbai: East Bengal ended their I-League campaign on a rousing note, thrashing a rather disjointed Mumbai FC 4-0 in their final game of the competition at the Cooperage Stadium here on Saturday evening.

Wilis Plaza (40th, 68th minutes) scored once in each half after Bikash Jairu (7th minute) had put the visitors in the drivers' seat early on.

Wedson Anselme (62nd minute) produced an excellent finish later on to drive home the advantage.

East Bengal were one of the contenders for the title along with arch-rivals Mohun Bagan and surprise league leaders Aizawl FC for most of the tournament before a string of four defeats extinguished their chances.

However, Saturday's win has given them a chance of finishing above Mohun Bagan as they dislodged their rivals to move into the second spot on the I-League table.

They finished their I-League campaign with 33 points from the full quota of 18 matches. 

Mohun Bagan are also on 33 points, albeit from 17 matches, but slipped to the third spot for the time being due to East Bengal's better goal difference.

However, if Mohun Bagan are upstaged by minnows Chennai City FC in their last game on Sunday, East Bengal will make the second spot their own.

Mumbai have been relegated after a rather poor season that them garner a mere 13 points 18 matches. They have scored just nine goals in this year's I-League and have conceeded as many as 28.

Although they are ninth in the 10-team table, they will be handed the lone relegation spot as bottom-placed Minerva Punjab FC are a corporate team and even if they lose their final tie against DSK Shivajians on Sunday, they are guaranteed a spot in the top division next year.