Conceding seven goals in two games and exiting without a point, this is one IFA Shield East Bengal won’t forget in a hurry. Neither would Tata Football Academy (TFA) whose victory against East Bengal came to a naught with the red-and-gold brigade losing 2-4 to Chirag United on Saturday.
At Mohun Bagan ground, Pune FC defeated AS Douanes, taking the competition’s only foreign team out with them. Air India went through from the group and will meet Churchill Brothers in the semifinal.
The semifinal line-up will be completed on Sunday when Mohun Bagan meet Mahindra United.
Chirag United showed impossible is nothing when, after failing to protect a two-goal lead, they scored twice more to edge out TFA on the number of goals scored (5-4).
Chirag struck through Shylo Malsawmtluanga’s ferocious 30-yard pile driver before Parveen Kumar slid to flick home a superb cross from Brazilian import Joshimar Da Silva.
East Bengal hit back through Riston Rodrigues's free-kick and Subhash Singh. Post break, East Bengal threw away a slew of openings before the defence let them down and Malsawmtluanga and Brazilian recruit Joshimar scored.
Pune FC win easy
Trailing 0-2 to Pune FC in a match they needed to win by two goals to qualify for the semifinals, AS Douanes refused to start the second half complaining of unplayable ground conditions. “It was only after we threatened them that we would complain to FIFA and they would be sanctioned that they went in,” an IFA official said.
Pune FC scored against the run of play. A long ball from Shanmugham Venkatesh found Izumi Arata on the right and the Japan-born PIO (Person of Indian Origin) scored with a deft placement. Jeje Lalpekhlua got the insurance goal with a shot from 25 yards.