| A Peerless player (in yellow) kicks the ball while his GTC opponents look on at Nehru Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday. Picture by Eastern Projections |
Guwahati, Sept. 13: Peerless Sports Club of Calcutta moved into the semi-finals of the Guwahati Sports Association-organised 58th Bharat Ratna Lokapriya Bordoloi Trophy football tournament by quelling a spirited Gauhati Town Club (GTC) by a solitary first half goal at the Nehru Stadium here this afternoon.
The all-important goal came through Peerless’ forward Egware Charles in the 31st minute when he successfully broke through the offside defence to gently tap the ball to the right side of GTC custodian Dulu Gogoi. Charles got another opportunity to score in the 20th minute of the second half, but could not capitalise on it.
The first half saw both the teams trying to outdo each other with GTC gaining in confidence after Langka Basumatary and Janak Deori’s shots rebounding off the hands of Peerless goalkepper Prasenjit Debnath, who had a good day under the bar.
The second half saw similar action, but lack of finesse on both sides did not help the teams. GTC did make a bid for the equaliser in the dying stages, but it was too late by then.
GTC would rue having played Felix, their outstation captain,in the midfield instead of forward which should have been beefed up to get past a comparatively superior Peerless defence.
Today’s win will see Peerless clash with former champions ASEB in the first semi-final on Tuesday. ASEB reached the semi-finals by beating Army Green by a solitary goal scored by Khirod Das on Saturday.
The fourth and last quarter-final will be played tomorrow between Md. Sporting of Calcutta and Nagaland Police. The winner will take on Oil India Limited in the second semi-final on Wednesday.
The Calcutta side, which had won the Bodoland Martyrs’ Football Gold Cup yesterday, turned out for a workout at the stadium this afternoon under the watchful eyes of coach Shabbir Ali. They have made it to the finals of this meet 11 times in the past.