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Federation Cup: Mohun Bagan beat East Bengal, set up final vs Bengaluru FC

Mohun Bagan will take on Bengaluru FC in the final of the Federation Cup after the two clubs won their respective semifinals against East Bengal and Aizawl FC.

football Updated: May 15, 2017 00:41 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Federation Cup,Mohun Bagan,East Bengal
Mohun Bagan defeated East Bengal 2-0 to enter the final of Federation Cup in Cuttack on Sunday.(AFP)

Arch-rivals Mohun Bagan defeated East Bengal 2-0 in a Kolkata derby to enter the summit clash of the Federation Cup football tournament at the Barabati Stadium, here today.

They will take on Bengaluru FC in the final, who defeated I-League champions Aizawl FC in the other semifinal earlier today.

Darryl Duffy’s 35th-minute header and Balwant Singh’s 84th-minute strike proved to be the difference between the two sides as the defending champions progressed to the final, where Bengaluru FC wait them.

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It was a bright start for East Bengal in the semi-finals and the Red and Golds could have taken the lead as early as the eighth minute when Plaza failed to tap home from close range after Rafique had found the Trinidad and Tobago forward in the box.

Three minutes later, Rafique himself saw his header from inside the box being denied by a fine Debjit save.

There were more bright spots for East Bengal but the Red and Golds failed to capitalise on them.

In the 16th minute Rowllin Borges’ shot earned a good save from Mohun Bagan’s custodian Debjit Majumder and seven minutes later Wedson came close to drawing first blood when his shot from distance curled inches over the goal.

For Mohun Bagan, the first real attempt at goal came in the 25th minute when a Sony Norde free-kick was parried away for a corner after Darryl Duffy was brought down.

Sanjoy Sen’s men grew into the match and took the lead in the 35th minute when Duffy’s deft header off a Norde cross crept into the back of the net.

READ | Mohun Bagan set up Federation Cup SF with East Bengal after draw vs Bengaluru FC

East Bengal dominated possession and shots on goal, but the Red and Golds had nothing to flaunt for their prowess, while Bagan made sure that the Mariners had their finishing boots on as Bagan lead 1-0 at half-time.

Bagan’s midfield sat deep in the second half and protected the Mariner’s defence for much of the half, trying to safeguard the slender lead.

Bagan defence too became compact and proved impenetrable for East Bengal duo of Plaza and Wedson.

Sanjoy Sen’s men attacked the counter and Norde almost came close to doubling the lead when his shot in the 60th minute flew inches near the goal.

Three minutes later, Rafique had a golden opportunity to equalise after a long ball in the box had left the Bagan defence in tandems. Rafique, however, failed to shoot the ball home from hand shaking distance to add to East Bengal’s missed opportunities.

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In the 78th minute, Debjit made a reflex save to deny Plaza’s header from close range. The Mariners defence line accompanied by its custodian held on for the remainder of time and Balwant doubled Bagan’s lead in the 84th minute when he scored after Katsumi Yusa found him in the box.

Bengaluru FC knock out Aizawl

Bengaluru FC advanced to the Federation Cup final after clinching a 1-0 victory over I-

League champions Aizawl FC in their semifinal clash here today.

Cameron Watson’s eighth-minute penalty strike led Bengaluru to the final.

The script for Alberto Roca’s men went right from the kick-off; courtesy the early breakthrough.

In the eighth minute, Alwyn George was brought down inside the Aizawl FC box by an uncanny challenge and the referee pointed straight to the spot.

Watson stepped up and slotted the ball into the left bottom corner to give the Blues a solitary goal lead.

At the back, the defensive pairing of John Johnson and Sandesh Jhingan gave the Aizawl forwards a torrid time.

In the 12th minute, Kamo was found in the Bengaluru box, but a sweetly timed John Johnson tackle robbed him of possession before he could shoot the ball.

Four minutes later, Lalram Chullova cut in the box from the left flank before unleashing a shot, which saw the tall figure of Sandesh Jhingan and went out for a throw-in.

Playing on the counter, the Blues, in the 21st minute, came close to doubling their lead after Eugeneson Lyngdoh released CV Vineeth onto goal with a through ball.

The latter’s shot, however, was met with Kingsley Eze’s hurling body before Vineeth passed it for an onrushing Alwyn George to capitalise.

But George shot the ball over the bar.

On the other end, Aizawl FC were handed a golden opportunity to equalise after Kamo was found on the far post by a delicious Lalram Chullova cross. The Ivorian, however, could not make clean contact with the ball and headed it wide of goal.

In the 39th minute, Watson’s shot from outside the box rattled the woodwork as the Blues adopted a more attacking stance. It did not reap any fruits in the first half as the half-time scoreline read 1-0.

Khalid Jamil revamped his side’s tactics in the second half and Mahmoud Al-Amna who was sitting deep in the first half was given more freedom around the 18-yard box.

The Syrian, however, was booked for simulation after he beat two defenders to get into the Bengaluru box but fell, in hopes of a penalty, with minimal contact.

Not only that, the Reds played with a high line and an offside trap that caught the Bengaluru FC forwards more than twice. Every time Al-Amna got the ball, the Syrian ran into the Bengaluru FC box in hope of fostering a goal scoring chance.

That chance remained elusive for Aizawl FC as Bengaluru FC’s compact defending kept them at bay. Lalram Chullova missed from the penalty spot right at the dying embers of the match as the full-time scoreline read 1-0 in Bengaluru FC’s favour.

First Published: May 14, 2017 22:29 IST