: G Pride Veterans and VVIP Goodwill drew their final group II match 1-1 to qualify for the semifinals of the DLF-ONGC-DSA annual senior division football league at the Ambedkar Stadium here on Friday.
The result ensured that Solutrean Hindustan failed to progress to the last four before its final game against Indian Air Force (New Delhi), which it went on to lose 2-1 later in the day.
Earlier, Ajay’s seventh-minute strike was cancelled out by Nigerian Abdul Peter before the half-hour mark to knock the formidable Hindustan out of the competition.
The news of an early exit seemed to weigh on Hindustan’s performance against IAF as its opponent came from behind to snatch victory. Silva Andrea scored the opener for Hindustan in the 45th minute after wonderfully controlling Mahender Singh’s aerial cross with his chest.
However, the match turned around within five second half minutes as TTS Stephan led the charge for IAF. First, Stephan’s corner from the left was powered home by G.S. Sandhu. Then in the 59th minute, the former sent a teasing cross inside the six-yard area, which was flicked on to the crossbar and the rebound was finished by Vikas.
The double whammy knocked the wind out of Hindustan’s sails and IAF played out the remaining minutes with ease.
Controversy struck the tournament on Friday too as IOC Garhwal Heroes’ progress to the semifinals was put under doubt after Shahdara FC filed a complaint with the league sub-committee, alleging that the former fielded an unregistered player in its 4-3 win.
Consequently, the committee issued a show cause notice to Garhwal for selecting Akhomei Golmei — who scored a brace in the match — and the team has been directed to submit a reply within 12 hours.
The results : IAF 2 (G.S. Sandhu 54, Vikas 59) bt Solutrean Hindustan 1 (Silva Andrea 45); G Pride Veterans 1 (Ajay 7) drew with VVIP Goodwill 1 (Abdul Peter 27).