Calcutta: Sangram Mukherjee made two crucial saves in the penalty shoot-out as United SC defeated East Bengal 6-5 via sudden death in the third place play-off of the IFA Shield, at the Salt Lake Stadium, on Thursday.
Following 120 minutes of action, the teams were locked 1-1 while the scoreline read 4-4 after the tie-breaker, with both teams fluffing one spot-kick each.
In the sudden death, Harmanjyot Singh Khabra’s attempt was brilliantly saved by Sangram and Souvik Chakraborty kept his cool to help the cash-strapped club earn Rs 5 lakh.
East Bengal shot into the lead in the 22nd minute. United SC defender Anupam Sarkar brought down Mehtab Hussain inside the box and referee Pranjal Banerjee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty. Chidi made no mistake in making it 1-0.
After the change of ends, East Bengal just ran out of ideas. United SC, sensing they had a chance, kept on putting pressure and were rewarded in the 73rd minute.
Eric toyed with Abhijit Das on the left flank and played the ball inside the East Bengal box and Baldeep Singh made it 1-1.
The extra-time had some drama when Eric and Gurwinder were given marching orders for a scuffle. In the tie-breaker, Chidi’s shot was saved by Sangram, while Abhra Mondal saved Bello Rassaq’s.
Cavin Lobo, Shylo Malswamtluanga, Subodh Kumar and Naoba Singh converted for East Bengal, while Ranty Martins, Dhanachandra Singh, Biswajit Biswas, Anupam Sarkar netted in the tie-breakers. And then came Sangram’s brilliant save and Souvik’s goal in the sudden-death.
United SC: Sangram Mukherjee, Tapan Maity, Anupam Sarkar, Bello Rassaq, Dhanachandra Singh, Mohammed Rafique (Biswajit Biswas 66), Jayanta Sen, Souvik Chakraborty, Eric Brown, Ranty Martins, Baldeep Singh.
East Bengal: Abhra Mondal, Naoba Singh, Gurwinder Singh, Raju Gaikwad (Avishek Das 46), Saumik Dey, Shylo Malswamtluanga, Cavin Lobo, Mehtab Hussain (Subodh Kumar 77), Alvito D’Cunha (Harmanjyot Singh Khabra 50), Edeh Chidi, Seiminlen Doungel.
Referee: Pranjal Banerjee
MoM: Sangram Mukherjee