Selasa, 25 September 2012

34th Federation Cup - Day 7: East Bengal win thriller, qualify for semifinals!

The 34th Federation Cup had its seventh and final match day of the quarterfinal group stage with Group C deciding which team would follow the Goan trio of Dempo SC, Churchill Brothers SC and Salgaocar FC into the semifinals. In the end last year finalist East Bengal Club prevailed with a 4-3 win against Kalighat Milan Sangha, while ONGC defeated Sporting Clube de Goa 2-1 to end their dreams of a all Goa semifinal.

Group C

ONGC 2-1 Sporting Clube de Goa - Goals: 1-0 David Lalrinmuana (30'), 1-1 Dawson Fernandes (62'), 2-1 Tarif Ahmed (89')

I-League promoted ONGC scored a 2-1 upset win against Sporting Clube de Goa in their final Group C match at Siliguri's SSB ground in the 34th Federation Cup. With this win ONGC finished second with six points, ahead of Sporting Club de Goa on four points.

ONGC's David Lalrinmuana scored from a freekick to give his side a 30th minute lead early before Dawson Fernandes scored a penalty in the 62nd minute to draw level for Sporting Clube. Striker Tarif Ahmed found the mark a minute from time to ensure the win for the Oilmen.

East Bengal Club 4-3 Kalighat Milan Sangha - Goals: 0-1 James Giblee (11'), 0-2 Tanmoy Kundu (15'), 1-2,2-2 Manandeep Singh (22',28'), 2-3 Iyikwobe Christopher Chizoba (40'), 3-3,4-3 Chidi Edeh (45+2' pen, 59' pen)

Last year finalists East Bengal Club had to come back from two goals down in their 4-3 win against Kolkata rivals Kalighat Milan Sangha in their third and final Group C match to finish their engagements on seven points to top the group to fix a semifinal against Churchill Brothers SC.

Making a haphazard beginning quite contrary to its approach East Bengal conceded two goals within the first 15 minutes. Kalighat Milan Sangha enjoyed the confusion in the red-and-gold defence of its famed opponent as Liberian James Giblee and captain Tanmoy Kundu found the target in tandem in the 11th and 15th minutes. In absence of regular centre-backs Uga Okpara and Gurwinder Singh, the backline had massive problems.

East Bengal like a champion side recovered from the initial setback as its young striker Manandeep Singh scored two quick goals in the 22nd and 28th minutes to
restore parity. But Kalighat MS rebounded with greater intensity and regained the lead off a nice solo from striker Iyikwobe Christopher Chizoba in the 40th minute though they couldn't take the 3-2 lead into the break as Nigerian striker Chidi Edeh equalised in injury time through a penalty after Chidi had been brought down by the Kalighat goalkeeper Souvik Mondal.

East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan reacted at the break and brought on Okpara and Gurwinder in place of Arnab Mondal and Raju Gaikwad, which brought back the stability in defence and allowed them to attack in search for the winner. East Bengal scored their fourth through their second penalty of the match when referee Rahul D'Sa hauled up Kalighat MS defender Babu Mondal for an infringement on Chidi inside the
box. The Nigerian striker successfully converted from the spot again to help the red-and-gold make it to the last-four stage. It stayed 4-3 until the end.

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