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Sporting undone by twin trouble

Denson Devadas doesn't wear the armband at United SC anymore but on Thursday, there was no denying who was the boss in the colour purple.

sports Updated: Sep 23, 2011 02:54 IST
Dhiman Sarkar

Denson Devadas doesn't wear the armband at United SC anymore but on Thursday, there was no denying who was the boss in the colour purple.

Like in the Santosh Trophy in 2010, when he led by example to end Bengal's 11-year title drought in the national championship, Devadas put United SC on course for their first Federation Cup semifinals before substitute striker Josimar Martins sealed the deal in the final quarter of what was a must-win tie for the home team. United SC finished on seven points, one more than Sporting Clube. http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/230911/23_09_11_metro23b.jpg

They will play East Bengal on Monday. The teams had met in the Durand Cup semis last year with United SC ending East Bengal’s 18-match winning streak.

Fittingly, the assist came from Lalkamal Bhowmick, who is now the team skipper. His corner-kick was powerfully headed home by Devadas with whom Bhowmick shares responsibilities in central midfield.

Forty-five minutes from exiting the 33rd Federation Cup, Sporting Clube de Goa showed more enterprise going forward in the second half after trying to contain United SC in the first.

The orange shirts couldn't close down Bhowmick fast enough and with United SC forwards repeatedly breaking through between central defenders Mathew Gonsalves and Keita Boubacar, it was D'Mello who prevented the one-way traffic from being translated into goals.