Chirag on cloud nine as EB leak goals

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By Staff Reporter in Calcutta
  • Published 6.09.09
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Calcutta: Chirag United did the improbable at the Barasat Stadium on a rain-sodden Saturday. They had to win their last group mach against East Bengal by at least a three-goal margin to pip the Tata Football Academy for a semi-final berth. They did just that and how! Subrata Bhattacharya’s boys put up a sterling performance to defeat a disjointed and pathetic East Bengal 4-2.

Chirag and TFA are equal on points (four from two matches) and enjoy the same goal difference (plus 2). But Chirag scraped through by virtue of having scored more goals (five) in their two matches.

Shylo Malsawmtluanga put Chirag ahead with a stunning 30-yard volley in as early as the ninth minute. Nine minutes later they were up 2-0 when Joshimar capitalised on a defensive blunder by Wasim Feroze and Saikat Saha Roy to set up Parveen Kumar. The former East Bengal frontliner made no mistake in slotting it home.

Down 0-2, East Bengal regrouped and in the 27th minute Riston Rodrigues reduced the margin. His curling free kick hit the back of the net leaving Chirag goalkeeper Sandip Nandy stranded. Nandy was again the culprit when East Bengal got the equaliser. Subhas Singh’s cross from the right and Edmilson dropped it in front of the Chirag goal. A melee ensued and Subhas Singh’s tap in crossed the line but Nandy had every chance to gather it.

In second-half, Bhattacharya made two vital substitutions. Somnath Khara came in for Nandy and Denson Devadas replaced Gauranga Biswas.

Denson’s presence brought the much-needed solidity to the midfield, which till then had yawning gaps. Chirag were up 3-2 in the 75th minute. Safar Sardar’s centre and Feroze once again failed to read the ball. Even Saha Roy was slow in reacting and Malsawmtluanga punished his former club gleefully.

The fourth goal came in injury time. East Bengal’s corner was cleared by the Chirag defence and Malsawmtluanga played it to Joshimar in his own half. With acres of space in front, the Brazilian ran with the ball. Feroze tried to close him down but could not. At the far corner P.C. Lalawmpuiya was begging for the ball. Joshimar, though, kept his cool and his right footer went past Arup Debnath like a bullet.

Two goals to the good and Chirag were still not sure whether they were through. Once the conformation came it was party time in the Chirag dressing room. The young guns from Jamshedpur won’t have to come back and Chirag now await the winner of the match between Mohun Bagan and Mahindra United, scheduled for Sunday.

TEAMS

Chirag United: Sandip Nandy (Somnath Khara 56’); Subhasish Roy Choudhury, Eduardo Coelho, Safar Sardar, Manas Das, Shylo Malsawmtluanga, Jayanta Sen; Lalkamal Bhowmick (PC Lalawmpuiya 61), Gauranga Biswas (Denson Devadas 72), Joshimar, Parveen Kumar

East Bengal: Arup Debnath; Saikat Saha Roy, Wasim Feroze, Govin Singh, Syed Rahim Nabi, Sanju Pradhan, Mehtab Hossain (Harmanjot Singh Khabra 76’), Riston Rodrigues, B. Beikhokhei, Edmilson (Gautam Kujur 82’), Subhas Singh.

Referee: C.R. Srikrishna.