Football

Prayag, Arrows make it to semifinals

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Prayag United SC and Pailan Arrows registered contrasting wins to reach the semifinals of the IFA Shield football tournament here on Sunday.

Prayag had to toil for its solitary goal win over local side Techno Aryan Club in Group D while Arrows thrashed Meghalaya opponent Ar-Hima FC 5-0 in its concluding Group C encounter.

Needing just a draw to ensure a semifinal berth, Prayag took it easy against Aryan. The first session remained barren as Aryan successfully held off the few attacks Prayag managed. Employing a lone striker in Ghanaian Yuisf Yakubu, Prayag breached the Aryan defence on a few occasions, but poor finishing cost it dear.

In the 27th minute, Yakubu got the ball into the net, deflecting a corner from James Singh, but the goal was disallowed as the former was pulled up for handling the ball.

In the second half, Prayag introduced its second foreign striker, New Zealander Kayne Vincent, in an effort to break the deadlock. However, it was its Nigerian in the central defence — Bello Rasaq — who got the elusive goal. Rasaq's rasping long-ranger in the 71 minute made the decisive difference in the end.

Prayag, which reached the last four stage with six points from two wins, will take on the winner of the concluding Group ‘B' encounter between Brazil's Botafogo BFR and Southern Samity on Monday.

Victory, at last!

Arrows, looking for its first win after 18 fruitless rounds in the I-League and a draw in the first group match against Pune FC here, managed to break the jinx with a fine showing against Ar-Hima.

Arrows, the experimental youth side floated by the All India Football Federation, took control right at the start. It went ahead off a free-kick from Tirthankar Sarkar in the 18th minute. Striker George Alwyn added two more goals (28 and 38th) as Arrows took a 3-0 lead at the break.

Milan Singh extended the lead by utilising a set-piece in the 60th minute before Ajay Singh rounded off the tally with a solo effort in the 85th minute.

Arrows, which finished on top of the group with four points along with Pune, pipped the latter on goal average. It will take on former champion East Bengal in the semifinals.

The results: Group C: Pailan Arrows 5 (Alwyn 2, Sarkar, Milan, Ajay) bt Ar-Hima 0.

Group D: Prayag United 1 (Rasaq) bt Techno Aryan Club 0.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 11:41:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/prayag-arrows-make-it-to-semifinals/article2985475.ece

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