Ten-men Air India shattered 13-time champions Mohun Bagan’s semifinal hopes with a resilient 2-0 win in a Group B match of the 34th Federation Cup here on Saturday.
After defender John Dias was sent off in the 12th minute for apparently showing a violent reaction to a decision by the referee Vishnu Chauhan, the Mumbai-based side reorganised itself to strike in the 28th minute through Elijah Junior.
Air India then struck the second goal through Henry Ezeh in the 86th minute after their goalkeeper Sukhwinder Singh had made three brilliant saves on attempts from Bagan’s Odafa Okolie (30th), Jewel Raja (33rd) and CS Sabeeth (72nd). This was Bagan’s second defeat.
Meanwhile in Jamshedpur, defending champions Salgaocar notched their second successive win, blanking United Sikkim 3-0 to brighten their semifinal chances.
Salgaocar scored through Angel Daldeever (2nd), Nicolao Colaco (81st) and Anthony D’Souza (85th. In another match of the same group, United SC were held to a 1-1 draw by Pune FC. United struck through their star Costa Rican striker Carlos Hernandez while Izumi Arata equalised for Pune FC.
In Siliguri, Goan heavyweights Churchill Brothers recorded a 5-1 rout of Mohammadan Sporting.
For Churchill, Bilal Nijjarin, Bineesh Balan, Beto, Akram Moghrabi and Henry Antchouet scored while Theodore Sunday netted for Sporting.