| Bhawanipore (in white) and NFR players tussle for the ball at Nehru Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday. Picture by UB Photos |
Guwahati, Jan. 5: Bhawanipore FC, Calcutta, today inflicted a 3-0 defeat on NF Railway SC, Guwahati, to set up Tuesday’s semi-finals clash with Shillong Lajong FC, Shillong in the 62nd Lokapriya Bordoloi Trophy football Tournament under way at Nehru Stadium here.
In an evenly-contested last quarter-finals encounter of the Guwahati Sports Association’s historic annual invitation tournament, the Calcutta outfit made best use of their skill and experience to utilise every opportunity they got to humble the local side.
Though the railmen dominated the proceedings almost throughout the 90 minutes with better ball possession and repeated inroads into the opponent territory at quick intervals, the visitors made no mistake in thwarting the raids. Bhawanipore custodian Debjit Majumder also made some brilliant saves to keep the opponents at bay.
The Calcuttans gained the lead in the 11th minute through the boot of striker Manjit Singh who was lurking at the top of the box and made no mistake in shooting a pass from Dipendu Dowary to catch NF Railway glovesman K. Bijen Singh offguard.
Conceeding the early lead, the railmen made several attempts at the opponent woodwork, but the forward line of Jelendra Brahma, Chayaram Basumatary and Sibra Narzary lacked precision, apparently because of a long layoff from competitive football since the Guwahati League and the inter-railways meets ended in October.
The Calcutta side also initiated a couple of moves midway through the first half, but the experienced Bijen Singh put up agile efforts to deny any further goals to the opponents.
The visitors got their second goal through Sourav Chakraborty who headed in a flagkick by Dowary in the 54th minute.
Though the Calcuttans were reduced to a 10-man side in just two minutes, it did not have an adverse effect on their attacking strategy as they continued to put pressure on the railmen’s castle with fast paced counter-attacks only to be handled by the opponent custodian on most of the occasions.
The pressure tactics yielded results in the 76th minute when Singh and the NF Railway defence fumbled a powerful shot by Bidemi Ayeni Daniel.
The shot rebounded from Singh’s fists and landed at the foot of medio J. Prasad who was on the prowl on the left flank and placed it back to Daniel on the second post to be tapped home with ease.
Shillong Lajong yesterday defeated Assam Police Blues, Guwahati 5-3 via tiebreakers after a 1-1 draw in the regulation time.
After a barren first half, Rideem Tlang scored the first goal for Lajong in the 73rd minute and the police side found the equaliser through Mofidul Islam in the 81st minute.
In the penalty shootout, Nim Dorjee Tamang, Samuel Shadap, Wagenban Angoushamu and Rideem Tlang scored for Shillong Lajong while Munna Bahadur Limbu and Kajaigek Rongpi found the back of the net for Assam Police Blues.
Aizawl FC will meet Aryan Club, Calcutta in the first semi-final tomorrow.