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Last-gasp goal gives Bengal a point

Veteran Jayanta Sen's last-gasp goal ensured Bengal didn't suffer from opening blues in the latest edition of the Santosh Trophy.

sports Updated: Jul 30, 2010 23:55 IST
HT Correspondent

Veteran Jayanta Sen's last-gasp goal ensured Bengal didn't suffer from opening blues in the latest edition of the Santosh Trophy. Sen struck two minutes from time to help salvage a point from their quarter-final league match against Delhi, at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Friday.

Bengal skipper Snehasish Chakraborty had predicted a rough outing alright but he would have never imagined luck and, to a great extent, goalkeeper Pronoy Roy's parrying skills would deny them till almost the final whistle.

Sen's strike somewhat salvaged the game for Bengal, who got everything right throughout the match but for the all-important goal.

Bengal's experienced central midfield duo of Denson Devdas and Sen stamped their presence on the game with fine passing and kept possession efficiently. On the flanks, Snehasish and Subhas Chakraborty outran opposition at will, leaving the Delhi defence exposed.

Strikers Tarif Ahmed and Robin Singh didn't have the best of starts though. Fifteen minutes into the first-half, Ahmed's lob over Roy went over the horizontal and this followed by another miss by Singh. But they did improve as the match progressed.

Delhi were reliant on the few counterattacks they could muster amid Bengal's rampage. They took the lead from one such move when they were awarded a corner-kick near the end of the first-half.

Bengal custodian Sandip Nandy fisted the kick but Tuishim Mashangva soared above the backline to head in a rebound cross from Vikash Rawat.

Delhi's plan to sit back and protect the one-goal lead backfired as they conceded too much ground. Bengal attacked with purpose and came close to equalising a number of times.

Singh came tantalisingly close but his strong left-footed drive was first feebly palmed by Roy and then ricocheted off the horizontal. Two minutes later, Roy warded off another strong piledriver, off Sen's left foot. But his next strike finally relieved Bengal of their misery. This time, it was a powerful grounder that finally beat Roy and forced Delhi to split points.

Tamil Nadu win

Last edition semi-finalists Tamil Nadu started their campaign on a winning note after beating Mizoram 2-0 here on Friday. CS Sabeeth capitalised on a horrible defensive lapse by Mizoram to score the opening goal. Seven minutes later, R. Rajesh latched on to a splitting through ball for the second.