Rabu, 19 September 2012

34th Federation Cup - Day 1: Dempo held by Pailan Arrows, Lajong win!

The 34th edition of the Federation Cup kicked-off today with matches in Group A in Jamshedpur. While I-League champions Dempo SC where held to a one-all draw by the Pailan Arrows, Shillong Lajong FC scored a 2-1 victory over Mumbai FC in their opener.

Group A

Dempo SC 1-1 Pailan Arrows - Goals: 0-1 Holicharan Narzary (52'), 1-1 Clifford Miranda (60')

I-League champions Dempo SC were held to a surprise but a deserving one-all draw by the AIFF Developmental side Pailan Arrows in their opening match at the JRD Sports Complex in Jamshedpur. It puts the two sides under pressure to win their next game otherwise the Federation Cup could be over after the group stage.

The Pailan Arrows were the more attacking side amongst the two team before the break. The understanding between India Junior internationals Alwyn George and Milan Singh in the middle of the park was outstanding to say the least. The duo played some wonderful one-twos between them and on one occasion Alwyn almost broke free to score, but an alert Subhashish Roy Choudhury came to his sides rescue. While at the other end Soren Porei Angamba made a brilliant fingertip save to deny Dempo new Japanese recruit Ryuji Sueoka in the 35th minute with the ricocheting ball hit the horizontal.

After the break the Pailan Arrows went ahead in the 52nd minute through Holicharan Narzary who placed the ball beautifully in from an acute angle after Milan Singh had set
him up inside the box. Dempo reacted by replacing Ryuji Sueoka with Nigerian striker Koko Sakibo immediately after conceding the goal, but it was winger Clifford Miranda's brilliance that got the Goans the equaliser on the hour mark as Clifford scored with a typical left-footer. The Arrows weren't shocked and it was once more young Holicharan whose shot struck the crosspiece in the 65th minute. But in the end it remained one-all between Dempo SC and Pailan Arrows.

Arrows head coach Arthur Papas said, "The match was a big a big challenge us, playing against the I-League champions. I am glad that we played well. This result will give us a lot of confidence."

Mumbai FC 1-2 Shillong Lajong FC - Goals: 0-1 John D. Menyongar (45'), 1-1 N.D. Opara (45+1'), 1-2 Gbeneme Friday (90')

Shillong Lajong FC made a winning start into the 34th Federation Cup with a 2-1 victory against Mumbai FC at the Keenan Stadium in Jamshedpur. The win puts the Northeastern side in the drivers seat after match day one.

Lajong had more of the ball in the first session, but they had to wait until the 45th minute to go ahead through a John D. Menyongar penalty after a Mumbai FC defender handled the ball, but the lead didn't last long as in the very next attack Mumbai FC equalised through N.D. Opara. It remained even at the break.

After the breather it was an even affair with Lajong having the better chances and they got a late winner through a freekick from striker Gbeneme Friday, who joined Lajong in the summer from Mumbai FC.

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