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Defending champions East Bengal suffers defeat in Federation Cup

PTI | January 18, 2014, 22.01 pm IST
Football

Kochi/Manjeri: Defending champions East Bengal suffered a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Sporting Clube Goa while Mohun Bagan hammered Shillong Lajong 6-0 in the 35th Federation Cup football tournament here today.

Victorino Fernanades (18th) and Beevan D'Mello (85th) scored either side of halftime to hand Sporting their first win of the competition. Ryuji Sueoka (58th) scored from the spot for East Bengal in the Group B match at Manjeri.

The eight time Federation Cup champions East Bengal were profligate throughout the match with James Moga hitting the bar twice and Chidi Edeh, Sueoka all missing chances.

Sporting have three points now from two matches while East Bengal have only one from the same number of outings.

Sporting made the most of some porous defending from East Bengal in the 18th minute. India International Victorino Fernandes nodded in Rowlin Borges's centre from close after left-back Saumik Dey was caught out of position and East Bengal custodian Gurpreet Singh erred with the flight of the ball.

East Bengal got the spot kick in the 58th minute when red and golds captain Harmanjyot Khabra was brought down just inside the box by goalkeeper Ravi Kumar. Sueoka made no mistake from the spot sending home a low shot past Ravi Kumar.

East Bengal were made to pay dear for their missed opportunities as Beevan gave Sporting the match-winner. Substitute Stephene Barreto's right-wing floater was turned in by Beevan.

In Kochi, captain Odafa Okolie and Christopher Chizoba struck two goals each as Mohun Bagan hammered Shillong Lajong 6-0 to brighten their chances of making it to the semifinal.

Odafa scored in the 10th and 77th minutes while Chizoba found the target in the 24th and 60th minutes. Yusa Katsumi and Ujjwal Howladar netted one each in the Group C encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Both sides came into this game full of confidence following wins in their opening games. But Mohun Bagan started the better as they tested Lajong Goalkeeper Lalthuammawia Ralte thrice in the opening seven minutes.

The deadlock was broken from a corner as Yusa's delivery fell to Pankaj Moula whose tame shot was deflected into the back of the net by Odafa from close range.

Lajong could have equalised from a Boithang Haokip flag-kick but Cornell Glen's header went over the bar. The Shillong club were winning plenty of set-pieces and Haokip kept producing quality deliveries but none of his teammates could get on the end of it.

Mohun Bagan doubled their lead through Chizoba, who received a pass from Zakeer Mundampara and slotted the ball past Ralte after easily going past his marker.

Just after the half-hour mark it was 3-0 as Yusa dispossessed Wailadmi Passah before being put clean through on goal by Chizoba and the Japanese coolly found the back of the net.

Even in the second half, the green-and-maroon brigade stayed the dominant side and they scored their fourth goal at the hour mark with on target following a nice through pass from Katsumi.

Karim Bencherifa's side created plenty of chances in the final quarter and substitute Howladar completed the rout scoring his first-ever goal for the club in stoppage time much to Lajong's embarrassment.

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