Army Green beat I-league side Sudeva Delhi FC 1-0 to enter the quarterfinals of the Durand Cup at the Mohun Bagan ground in Kolkata on Friday. Deepak Singh, who had scored two goals in Army’s victory over Jamshedpur FC earlier in the group stage, scored to see the side through to the knockouts.
In the final fixtures of Group B Jamshedpur was playing FC Goa at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan the same time as the Army-Sudeva match across town. They both had a shot at making the knockouts. Jamshedpur, however, went down 0-5, opening the door for Army Green to go through alongside group toppers FC Goa.
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In the initial quarter of the match, both Army Green and Sudeva created opportunities. After that, the Army players took charge and Sudeva never looked threatening in the half.
In the ninth minute, Army Green had their first major scoring opportunity when Lallawmkima took a brilliant header, but could not go past Sudeva ’keeper Sachin Jha. Shubham Rana took another shot at goal on the rebound, but Sachin came up with another brilliant save.
The ball hovered around the Sudeva goal for most part of the first half. Thirty minutes into the game, two back-to-back corners almost got Army the opener, but Sachin made sure it was goalless at half time.
Sudeva looked all charged up in the second half. In the 46th minute, William Pauliankhum had the ball just a few yards away from the goal but failed to score.
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Army Green came back strong and in the 51st minute, a nice set up and a wonderful assist by Dip Mazumdar, Deepak tapped the ball into the net.
The Delhi side did have a few chances to equalize but they could not go past Army Green’s defence. They ended the campaign with three losses.
FC Goa Rout Jamshedpur
FC Goa completed a dominating performance to thrash Jamshedpur FC 5-0 to finish on top with nine points and push their Indian Super League (ISL) rivals out of the Durand Cup.
Goa rested Glan Martins and Makan Chote on the bench and gave Brandon Fernandes a start along with their third keeper in the tournament, Hrithik Tiwari.
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Goa were always looking to take control and eventually Devendra Murgaokar got a free-header off a corner in the 20th minute. He slotted it home from close range to give Goa their first of the game. Six minutes later, Princeton Rebello got two bites of the cherry inside the Jamshedpur box and blasted the second one home past a hapless Vishal Yadav.
Murgaokar then tapped in a third, his second of the game and third of the tournament, a minute before break to make it 3-0 for the Goans at half time.
The talented Muhammed Nemil then made the second half his own with a double strike. He scored the first just after commencement and then in the 81st minute smartly chipped the ’keeper for his third of the tournament and Goa’s fifth of the game.
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