East Bengal seal semifinal berth

An injury-time goal by Laldanmawia Ralte helped East Bengal notch up a thrilling 1-0 win over Aizawl FC and seal the first semifinal spot of the Hero Super Cup here on Sunday.

A former Aizawl midfielder, Ralte scored the solitary goal of the match from the spot late into injury time to break the deadlock after both the teams fought tooth and nail during the regulation time.

The first half began on a slow note but East Bengal FC soon caught up and started attacking in quick succession through Syrian Mahmoud Al Amna and Nigerian Dudu Omegbemi.

But the Mizoram outfit showcased its class by denying East Bengal. Aizawl FC did put up an attack with a few shots at the goal as well but couldn't find success in their attempts.

It was East Bengal, however, who came really close to scoring on a couple of occasions but some brave goal-keeping from Aizawl FC custodian Lalawmpuia ensured that the first 45 minutes of the game ended without any goal being scored.

The second half began with East Bengal pressing hard to score but Lalawmpuia was too tough for the Red & Golds to pass through.

It was Lalawmpuia's heroics at the goal post that kept Aizawl alive in the game till the last minute before the youngster made the only mistake of the game conceding a penalty in the last minute of the injury time.

Aizawl had missed their closest chance to score a few seconds back through Andrei Ionescu.

The second quarterfinal will be played between I-League outfits Mohun Bagan and Shillong Lajong FC on April 11.

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