Holders Bagan book semis spot

Holders Bagan book semis spot

The 13-time champion Kolkata side came up with a vastly improved performance after their lacklustre goal-less draw against Chirag United in their last game, to blank their opponents from Mumbai and top their group with seven points from two wins and a draw.

Talismanic Jose Ramirez Barretto scored from the spot in the 42nd minute before his Nigerian strike partner Chidi Edeh doubled the lead in the 49th minute.

Three minutes from the breather, Mahindra defender Dharmarajan Ravanan brought Barreto down inside the box and referee Dinesh Nayar pointed to the dreaded spot. Barretto himself stepped up and fired past Subhashish’s left to the net.

Four minutes after resumption, Chidi gave Mohun Bagan the two-goal cushion as the Nigerian striker poked the ball after a tussle inside the box.

In the second semifinal on December 31, Mohun Bagan will face the winner of Group A which will be decided in Silchar tomorrow.

Earlier, in an inconsequential Group B match, Chirag United beat Mohammedan Sporting by a solitary goal. Lalwampuia scored the all-important goal in the 31st minute. Chirag, who had drawn Mohun Bagan goal-less in their last game, finished their engagements with four points while Mohammedan lost all their matches.

Meanwhile, Mumbai FC, riding on a hat-trick from Abhishek Yadav posted a 4-2 win over Bangalore’s Hindustan Aeronautics Sports Club at the Satindra Mohan Dev Stadium.

Abhishek scored the first goal for MFC while J Muralidharan restored parity with a goal in the 23rd minute. Abhishek doubled his tally in the 77th minute and found the third in the 79th. Evans Quao gave MFC their fourth foal in the 82nd minute. HASC pulled one back through Muralidharan in the 90th minute but its was too late.

In another match, goals from Odafe Onyeka Okolie (71st) and Khanthang Paite (89) gave Churchill Brothers SC an easy 2-0 win over Sporting Clube de Goa.