Calcutta: Prayag United SC rode Bello Rasaqs goal to beat Techno Aryan 1-0 in the IFA Shield group D match at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday.
The win helped United SC make it to the semi-finals. They, thus, finished off their group engagements with six points while Aryan remained on one.
United SC dominated the proceedings from the outset. The midfielders and wingers toyed with the Aryan defence and created numerous openings.
But they failed to convert those chances, mainly because of outstanding goalkeeping from Sibram Dey. If Sibram had not thwarted most of the attempts, Aryan would have had the embarrassment of conceding more goals.
United SC could have gone into the lead in the 25th minute. But Yusif Yakubus right-footer was just inches wide off the post.
United SCs Denson Devadas did score a goal in the 27th minute but referee Durga M. Nayak disallowed it since Yakubu had handled the ball.
In the 36th minute, Sibram brilliantly dived to put away a dipping freekick from James.
The flurry of United SC attacks forced Aryan to go into a defensive mode in the first half. The scenario did not change in the second session. The Aryan players lacked the zeal to win and played without purpose.
In the 50th minute, Bello and Yakubu orchestrated a move on the left. Bello played a quick one-two with Yakubu before shooting outside. Bello again failed to convert a chance in the 56th minute when his header was cleared on the goalline by Raju Koley.
United SC finally got their winner in the 71st minute when Bellos powerful right-footer from 30 yards found the top right corner of the net.
Prayag United SC: Abhijit Mondal, Narugopal Hait (Chinta Chadrasekhar Rao 31), Bello Rasaq, Deepak Mondal, Justine Stephen, Gouranga Biswas, Denson Devadas (Lalkamal Bhowmick 81), Jayanta Sen, James Singh, Mohammed Rafique (Kayne Vincent 64), Yusif Yakubu
Techno Aryan: Sibram Dey, Raju Koley, Dipak Mondal, Mohan Sarkar, Subho Kumar, Swapan Mandi (Sayan Dutta 74), Rajib Ghorui, Gopal Debnath (Saikat Patra 51), Pankaj Moula, Munna Mallick (Pintu Prasad 70), Pintu Manna
Referee: Durga M. Nayak
MoM: Bello Rasaq