Ever Ready takes out East Bengal

Sports Reporter

KOLKATA: An injury-time goal by Nigerian Chibueze Francis helped AVI Ever Ready beat former champion East Bengal 2-1 in the first semifinal of the 111th IFA Shield football at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Thursday.

East Bengal took the lead in the third minute through Kalia Kulothungan.

But Ever Ready regrouped well after conceding the first goal. The complexion of the match changed in the first quarter itself as Ever Ready made many forays into the East Bengal area. Though Lalkamal Bhowmik's effort in the 19th minute went over the bar, Ever Ready found the equaliser six minutes later through the Nigerian striker, Francis.

East Bengal came back strongly in the second session. The goal, however, remained elusive as none of its forwards — Nigerian Mike Okoro, Kulothungan or substitute Malswamtluanga — could find the target. But Francis scored the winner for Ever Ready in the last minute after he was fed by Liberian Theodore Wrobeh.