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Mahindra swing to Rafi’s melodies

sports Updated: Sep 19, 2009 00:48 IST
Moonmoon Ghosh

Coach Subhash Bhowmick came under more pressure to resign after East Bengal were beaten 0-2 by Mahindra United in the 122nd Durand Cup on Friday.

There were calls for the resignation of the self-confessed 'Jose Mourinho of India' from the supporters at the Ambedkar Stadium after the Kolkata team lost.

A brace by Mohammed Rafi in the space of three minutes in the second half consigned the 16-time champions to another defeat. Bhowmick's outfit had already bowed out of the tournament earlier after being beaten 0-1 by Shillong's Lajong FC. Both coaches came under scrutiny with Mahindra's coach, David Booth, being sent off from the touchline for arguing with the referee.

East Bengal started brightly but fizzled out under Mahindra's quick passing. Sushil Kumar and Rafi, playing upfront, could not capitalise on Steven Dias's crosses.

Mahindra intensified the pressure in the second half and Rafi broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute. After 'keeper Arup Debnath punched out a Dias cross from the right, Rafi pounced on the rebound and headed in.

East Bengal's fate was sealed just three minutes later after Rafi poked the ball into the net from close range.

Mohun Bagan beat JCT

A brace in the first 15 minutes from Jose Barreto helped Mohun Bagan beat JCT Phagwara 2-0 and enter the semifinals for the first time since 2006. Edeh Chidi intercepted a long clearance by the JCT defence and his perfect header found Barreto, who cut in from the middle, raced ahead and scored. Bagan missed a penalty in the 37th minute after Sarabjeet brought down Chidi in the box. James guided his spot kick wide and the ball bounced off the post.

Semifinal line-up: Churchill Brothers vs Dempo (today at 5pm);

Mohun Bagan v Mahindra United