Guwahati, Sept. 19: Former champions Assam Rifles, Tezpur stormed into the final of the sixth GTC Challenge Trophy invitation prize-money football championship, defeating Assam State Electricity Board Sports Club (ASEB SC) 2-0 in the first semi-final at Judges Field here today.
Both the teams managed an equal share of ball possession in the first half although the Riflemen dominated the proceedings.
After a barren first session, the powermen conceded both the goals when the Tezpur paramilitary men went for the offensive with their trademark aggression midway into the second half.
Skipper Ajit Kr Singh’s 70th minute corner saw L. Kom pushing the ball to Tashi Pinso Bhutia who made no mistake in finding the back of the net through a powerful strike from inside the box.
The skipper went on to double the lead through a solo effort in the 80th minute. Making his way into the box after dribbling past three defenders, Singh’s strike found the target in style after hitting the woodwork.
Earlier, the powermen missed out on a sitter as early as the seventh minute when William Gangte’s pass from the right flank found Yumnam Gopi Singh inside the box, which the latter struck inches above the crosspiece.
Desperate for a lead, the paramilitary men again came close to finding the net when N. Thang Kuki’s pass to L. Kom inside the goalbox saw him setting it up for L. Santa Singh, but the latter shot it wide in the 34th minute.
Switching sides, it was Assam Rifles who became too much for the powermen to handle and they went on to concede both the goals.
L. Santa Singh, making his way past the opponent defence, tried his luck from inside the box, but glovesman Daoga Brahma managed an easy save in the 55th minute.
ASEB substitute Nitu Narzary tried to reduce the margin through a shot from outside the box, which saw Assam Rifles custodian Manichandra Singh fisting it out for a corner.
Oil India FC, Duliajan will lock horns with Green Valley SC, Guwahati in the second semi-final tomorrow.