Football

East Bengal in semis

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East Bengal ensured a semifinal berth drubbing Shillong Lajong FC 3-0 in the concluding Group A league encounter of the IFA Shield football at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Saturday.

In Group B, Brazilian outfit Botafogo BFR managed a second half injury-time goal to scrape past 10-man Chirag United Kerala 1-0 at the Howrah Municipal Corporation Stadium.

Dominating the action from the beginning, East Bengal found the lead in the 18th minute through Australian striker Tolgay Ozbey.

East Bengal enhanced the lead only in the 76th minute, Gurwinder Singh capitalising on an error from custodian L. Ralte following a corner. Robin Singh completed the tally in the last minute, converting an assist from substitute Baljit Sahni with a fine left-footed finish.

Having won both its matches in the three-team group, East Bengal became the first team to move into the last-four stage.

In the semifinals it will meet the Group C topper to be decided on Sunday.

Damp squib

The Group B match was a damp squib as the youth side of Botafogo BFR failed to impress.

Chirag found some openings in the first session, its best chance came in the 28th minute, but Nigerian striker David Sunday could not beat Botafogo custodian Milton Pires.

Chirag was reduced to 10 men in the 61st minute when midfielder C.K. Vineeth received his second booking of the match for ‘diving'. Chirag held on strongly, but a defensive error from stopper-back Charles Dzisah in injury-time (90+2) allowed Botafogo winger Vinicius Durante a free run on the left and his cross was tapped home by William de Oliveira (1-0).

With three points Botafogo is tied with Southern Samity. The teams meet on Monday to decide the semifinalist from the group.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 11:53:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/east-bengal-in-semis/article2982416.ece

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