Churchill to face Sporting in final

Dempo bow out in scrappy tie

Churchill Brothers and Sporting Clube de Goa will face each other in the summit clash of the Federation Cup after notching up victories against Mohun Bagan and Dempo respectively here on Thursday.

Churchill defeated Mohun Bagan 2-1 in the first semifinal while Sporting Clube de Goa emerged 3-2 winners in extra time in a scrappy match against Dempo later in the day at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium

In an ill-tempered second semifinal that descended into a fracas late in extra-time, Arturo Garcia (82nd, 107th) converted two penalty kicks to send Sporting Clube de Goa through to Saturday’s final.

After Boima Karpeh had given Sporting the lead in the 30th minute, Tolgay Ozbey restored parity in the 72nd minute but Spanish centre-back Garcia once again put Sporting in front from the penalty spot after Amiri had handled the ball.

However Amiri made amends for that mistake when he blasted home after good work from Ozbey with just two minutes of normal time remaining.

The energy levels of both teams were sapping in the humidity and some tired looking tackles as well as play acting meant that both teams frequently clashed and exchanged words as the match veered towards a shootout.

However, there was to be one more twist and Garcia again made no mistake from the spot after Holicharan Narzary fouled Prathesh Shirodkar.

Dempo had a few chances to tie the game but they just lacked the cutting edge to force home an equaliser.

The final whistle brought about ugly scenes as both sets of players clashed but it was Sporting’s night out. 

Earlier in the day, a quickfire start from Churchill helped them beat Bagan.

The Goan side had developed a habit of scoring early – they had taken the lead early doors in two of theirgroup outings and that is exactly what they did when Balwant Singh (4th) scored from a set-piece as early as in the fourth minute.

It was a dream start for Churchill and it was to get even better for them, and Balwant was again involved. After Balwant received the ball on the edge of the ‘D’, he was felled by defender Aiborlang Khongjee just inside the box.

Anthony Wolfe placed the ball on the spot and converted with aplomb to double Churchill’s advantage in the 14th minute.

However, Bagan’s chief marksman Okolie got one back in the 33rd minute to lift Bagan’s spirits. Okolie had a chance tomake it 2-2 before half-time but was denied by an alert Lalit Thapa after the Nigerian had sidestepped defender Denzil Franco.

Churchill hardly gave Bagan another chance as they smothered them brilliantly to progress into the final.

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