Bungling BFC bow out as Sporting march into semis

Bungling BFC bow out as Sporting march into semis

Bangalore outfit lose 0-2 to EB after missing two penalties

Bungling BFC bow out as Sporting march into semis

Forward Edeh Chidi scored two second-half goals to inspire East Bengal to a gritty 2-0 victory over Bengaluru FC in their Federation Cup Group ‘B’ clash at Manjeri on Tuesday.

BFC had to win to enter the knock-out stages because of Sporting Clube de Goa’s 2-0 victory earlier in the day against Rangdajied United but they failed to get the desired result. Despite the victory, East Bengal failed to make it, as Sporting, with six points, qualified for the semis as group-toppers. BFC did have their chances, with two second-half penalties coming their way but they wasted both. 

After skipper Sunil Chhetri’s effort was saved by goalkeeper Gurpreet Sandhu at the hour mark, Sean Rooney blazed his spot-kick over the crossbar at the stroke of full-time.

After the BFC skipper missed the first penalty, East Bengal punished them in the 62nd minute, with Chidi’s 25- yard effort beating goalkeeper Pawan Kumar.

BFC replied with a string of corners but East Bengal, who had won both their I-League games over BFC, resisted before scoring the second goal in the 74th minute when Chidi again struck from an identical spot as his opener. That left BFC with an unenviable task of having to score three goals in the last 15 minutes to qualify.

They also lost the services of their coach Ashley Westwood who was sent off as his side went in desperate search of a goal. Rooney had the chance but by then it was too late. BFC finished Group B in third place with four points, the same as East Bengal but a rung below them because of having lost to the Kolkatans.

Earlier in the day, Sporting completed a routine 2-0 win over Rangdajied with Boima Karpeh (54th) and Victorino Fernandes (70th) getting the goals for the Goan outfit.
They will take on Dempo in one of the semifinals, with Mohun Bagan, who drew Salgaocar 1-1 to advance from Group ‘C’, locking horns with Churchill Brothers in the other last-four clash. Both the semifinals are on January 23.

In the day’s other match, three goals from Cornell Glen helped Shillong Lajong thrash Mumbai FC 4-0 at Kochi.

After Glen converted from spot in the 16th minute, Boithang Hoikop scored a long range belter to double Shillong’s advantage in the 24th minute. Glen, who had played for Trinidad & Tobago in the 2006 World Cup, then made it 3-0 in the 53rd before completing the treble in injury time.

The dominating win means that Shillong will finish as runners-up in Group ‘C’ – three points behind Mohun Bagan.
Wednesday is a rest day.

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