Salgaocar spoil EB party

Football Federation Cup: Chidi, Fernandes, Sueoka spur Goan outfit to 3-1 victory in final

JUBILANT: Salgaocar players celebrate their Federation Cup triumph over East Bengal in Kolkata on Thursday. PTIEdeh Chidi (5th) and Francis Fernandes (19th) gave Salgaocar a 2-0 lead early in the first half before substitute Ryuji Sueoka (66th) completed formalities much ahead of regulation time, to hand the Goans the title after a gap of 14 years.
Cheered by a boisterous crowd, East Bengal rode on Alan Gow’s 25th minute strike from the spot.

If it was a complete tactical failure for East Bengal coach Trevor James Morgan, for his counterpart Karim Bencherifa the win was really special as the Moroccan has just tasted a double, winning both the I-League and Federation Cup in the same year.

Bencherifa, who had coached Mohun Bagan to the title three years ago, thus guided Salgaocar to their fourth Federation Cup title after a gap of 14 years. It was against the same side and at the same venue Salgaocar, who were also champions in 1988 and 1989, had won the national knockout title in 1997.

Salgaocar took the lead in a move created from a short freekick in the midfield. Elijah Junior supplied the ball to Biswajit Saha before Chidi, with a magical piece of work, left East Bengal’s Harmanjot clueless.

Salgaocar added to East Bengal’s misery when Fernandes finished brilliantly from a solo run from the right flank. Fernandes beat Saumik Dey and Raju Gaikwad on his run before shooting it directly to East Bengal custodian Sandip Nandy, who could not hold the ball as he scored from the return in a superb display of improvisation.

East Bengal benefited after being awarded a penalty when Luciano Sabrosa brought down Orji Penn inside the box, pulling his jersey in a 23rd minute move.  Scottish signing Gow easily converted from to bring much-needed relief in the local camp. Two back-to-back substitutions by Bencherifa in the 60th minute, when he brought on former Mohun Bagan midfielder Sueoka (in place of Elijah Junior) and Gilbert Oliveira (Ishfaq Ahmed), paid dividends.

Chidi, who had scored four in Mohun Bagan’s historic 5-3 win over East Bengal, supplied from a right-side move as East Bengal goalkeeper Sandip Nandy’s misjudgment yielded the crucial goal.

As Nandy failed to clear the ball, Sueoka made good use of the Chidi cross to finish it nicely. Distracted and disillusioned, East Bengal could not fight back and even the red-and-gold fans lost all hopes, emptying the 120,000-capacity Yuva Bharti Krirangan Stadium.

 

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