Bhutia guides East Bengal

EB take on Bagan in semis; Lajong meet Churchill

Shilong Lajong, who played out a 1-1 draw against Pune FC on Sunday at Guwahati, booked their maiden ticket into the Federation Cup semis after Air India went down 0-2 to Dempo. Lajong will take on I-League champions Churchill Brothers in the first semifinal.
Kyryshang Lyngshing put Lajong ahead in the 31st minute while S Venkatesh equalised three minutes from half time.

Peter Carvalho broke the ice for Dempo in the 22nd minute before Climax Lawrence sealed Air India exit in 86th minute.

Bhutia, who came in place of Alvito D’Cunha in the 75th minute, made an oppourtinistic strike seven minutes after he entered the field as a loose ball fell on his way after a scramble inside the JCT box at the Satindra Mohan Dev Memorial Stadium here.

With two wins and a draw, East Bengal emerged group winners with seven points and they will face their arch Kolkata rivals in the second semifinal in Guwahati on December 31.

East Bengal were down with 10 men from the 25th minute when Harmanjot Khabra git his second booking after his first offence as early as the eighth minute but the Red-and-Gold brigade from Kolkata fought valiantly to emerge victorious.

Later, in an inconsequential Group A match, Viva Kerala held Salgaocar to a 1-1 draw. For Viva, Reuben Senyo scored the goal in 36th minute, while Manjdou Keita found the nets for Salgaocar in 88th minute.

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