Panaji, Dec 5: SC East Bengal suffered their third straight defeat as they lost to NorthEast United FC 0-2 in the Hero Indian Super League at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Saturday.
Surchandra Singh scored an own goal in the 33rd minute to hand the Highlanders the lead with Rochharzela doubling their advantage in second-half injury time.
The visitors missed skipper Danny Fox who picked up a knock in their previous encounter against Mumbai City FC.
The red-and-gold brigade, clad in their white away kit for the first time this season, looked the sharper side from the off.
Scott Neville could have been on the scoresheet as early as in the fourth minute but the defender failed to connect to a delectable cross from Jacques Maghoma.
Anthony Pilkington was on the end of another free-kick soon after, but this time Narayan Das could not direct the ball goalwards from inside the box.
The 'away' side bossed ball possession with Pilkington, leading the side in the absence of Fox, trying to set Balwant Singh free inside the box. Maghoma was brought down inside the box in the 20th minute but to the dismay of Head Coach Robbie Fowler, the referee did not point towards the spot.
Against the run of play, Surchandra Singh steered the ball inside his own net in the 33rd minute after NEUFC's Kwesi Appiah crossed inside the box looking for Idrissa Sylla.
Despite dominating the first half, SC East Bengal went into the break a goal down.
CK Vineeth was brought in place of Balwant at the start of the second half as the men in white looked for an equaliser.
Pilkington tested the NorthEast United goalkeeper at the hour mark as the ball went out for a corner. The 32-year old former Norwich City midfielder came closer to scoring in the 74th minute but his effort from distance went just wide.
Fowler ringed in a few changes with Md Rafique and Abhishek Ambekar coming in for Angousana and Narayan respectively in the 66th minute as Eugeneson Lyngdoh replaced Md Irshad in the 74th.
The referee was in the eye of the storm again when he turned a blind eye to SC East Bengal's appeal of a handball inside the box.
SC East Bengal continued to enjoy the lion's share of possession but failed to find the back of the net as NorthEast United got their second against the run of play with Rochharzela netting the goal.