Kamis, 20 September 2012

34th Federation Cup - Day 2: Only three goals in Four matches

The 34th edition of the Federation Cup kicked-off for the participating teams in Group B and D with matches at both centres in Siliguri and Jamshedpur. Mohammedan Sporting Club, defending champions Salgaocar SC and Pune FC all scored 1-0 wins while Churchill Brothers and Mohun Bagan played out a goalless draw.


Group B

Air India 0-1 Mohammedan Sporting Club - Goals: 0-1 Mohammed Mukhtar (55')

Qualifiers Mohammedan Sporting Club upset Durand Cup winners Air India 1-0 in their opening Group B match of the 34th Federation Cup at the Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri. The winner for Mohammedan Sporting was scored by Mohammed Mukhtar in the 55th minute against the Airmen.

Both sides had their chances in the first session, but it was Mohammedan Sporting who had the better and greater number of chances. The Kolkata side took the lead in the 55th minute through a Mohammed Mukhtar long-ranger. Thereafter they had chances to double the score, but the closer the final whistle came the better Air India got but they woudl not score, so the match ended 1-0 for Mohammedan Sporting.


Churchill Brothers SC 0-0 Mohun Bagan AC - Goals: none

In their opening match Churchill Brothers SC were held to a goalless draw by Mohun Bagan AC at the Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri. Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya, who joined them from Churchill Brothers in the summer, made three spectacular saves to keep the scoreline goalless as the Goans would also count themselves unlucky for being disallowed a goal in the 79th minute – the only time the Goa giant could beat the Mohun Bagan custodian.

Churchill Brothers worked on fitness and speed and put Mohun Bagan on the mat for the greater part of the first 25 minutes. The action riveted round the fine sense of opportunism showed by Churchill's Gabonese striker Henry Antchouet, who breached the Mohun Bagan defence on three occasions. Henry's two attempts in the 10th and 26th minutes were brilliantly blocked by Arindam while the forward failed to time his attempt in-between in the 18th minute.

Mohun Bagan briefly joined the action launching two quick attacks by their start striker Odafe Onyeka Okolie. The Nigerian striker first tried it with a solo effort in the 27th minute which went over before releasing midfielder Jewel Raja Sheikh with a nice flick in the 30th minute, who then hit the crossbar. The first half blitz continued further but the goal failed to mature as both Tomba Singh (Churchill) and Tolgay Ozbey failed to produce the desired finish.

Churchill Brothers continued to dominate after the break and found the net in the 79th minute off a Tomba Singh freekick. But referee Santosh Kumar from Kerala pulled-up Churchill Brothers midfielder Roberto Mendes Silva for infringement and disallowed the goal. The match ended in a goalless stalemate with the Kolkata giants more fortunate then their Goan rivals.


Group D

Salgaocar FC 1-0 Prayag United SC - Goals: 1-0 Anthony D'Souza (65')

Champions Salgaocar FC started their defence on a positive note by winning 1-0 against big spenders Prayag United SC in their Group D opener at the JRD Sports Complex in Jamshedpur. Anthony D'Souza scored the only goal of the match in the 65th minute.

There was very little goalmouth action with the game mainly confined to the midfield. Prayag United had their first chance in the 10th minute when Carlos Hernandez's effort effected a diving save from Salgaocar custodian Karanjit Singh. At the other end India's No .1 goalkeepeer Subrata Pal was in action minutes later saving a Sean Rooney strike with his fingertips.

After a goalless first half, Prayag United SC could have taken the lead early on in the second session but Ranty Martins bungled from close range while at the other end Salgaocar through Anthony D'Souza made the most of a poor clearance in the 65th minute to score the winner.


Pune FC 1-0 United Sikkim FC - Goals: 1-0 Jeje Lalpekhlua (51')

Pune FC made a winning start into the 34th Federation as they won 1-0 against newcomers United Sikkim FC at the Keenan Stadium in Jamshedpur. Mizo striker Jeje Lalpekhlua scored for Pune in the second half from a counter attack.

The first session was goalless with very little opportunities for both the teams, but the deadlock was broken early in the second half as Jeje prodded home in the 51st minute. It remained 1-0 for Pune FC until the end though they were stretched by USFC.

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