Chennaiyin FC player celebrating.

Chennaiyin FC player celebrating.
| Photo Credit: Ragu R

Punjab FC defeated East Bengal FC 4-1 and knocked out the Red & Gold Brigade from the Indian Super League playoffs contention at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday.

Thanks to the result, Chennaiyin FC became the sixth and final team to qualify for the playoffs.

Punjab FC were already out of the contention for the top-six berth.

In their final game of the season, Punjab FC had their famed attacking trio getting their name on the scoresheet as Wilmar Jordan Gil’s brace was accompanied by a strike each by Madih Talal and Luka Majcen.

The gameplan of the Staikos Vergetis-coached side seemed apparent as they outplayed East Bengal FC on the flanks and sent lethal deliveries into the box that were lapped upon by their efficient forwards.

East Bengal FC, for whom this was a must-win game, could only reply with a solitary goal by Sayan Banerjee in the 25th minute.

Wilmar started the onslaught as Tekcham Singh broke the left side of the East Bengal FC defence to cut back a cross for the striker that he converted with absolute ease.

Sayan restored parity with a shot from distance. Talal ensured that Punjab FC went into the break with their lead in their hand.

Manglenthang Kipgen found ways past the East Bengal FC backline but he trusted the goal-scoring instincts of Talal by launching a delivery towards him on a tight angle. The Frenchman didn’t disappoint, showing razor sharp accuracy to hammer the ball on the high centre of the goal.

Talal then turned the provider in the second half, embarking on another one of his blazing runs on the wing before breaking into the centre and delivering a pass for Gil that the striker converted with extreme efficiency.

In search of the equaliser, East Bengal FC had exposed spaces in their backline that Punjab FC capitalised.