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Rediff.com  » Sports » It's Churchill against Dempo in Fed Cup semis

It's Churchill against Dempo in Fed Cup semis

December 10, 2008 22:06 IST

Odafe Onyeka Okolie banged in four goals as Churchill Brothers trounced a hapless Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bangalore 7-0 at Yuba Bharati Krirangan (YBK) at Salt Lake on Wednesday to set up a Goan derby against Dempo SC in the semifinals of the 30th Federation Cup.

In another Group B match, simultaneously played at Vidyasagar Krirangan at Barasat, Mahindra United registered a 4-2 win over Mohammadan Sporting but their victory was not enough as Churchill, with a better goal difference (8) made the last-four. 

With Churchill Brothers and Mahindra United locked on four points from Group B, their respective matches -- against HAL and Mohammaden Sporting -- were played simultaneously, as per the new set of rules.

At Barasat, an intense battle was fought between the two sides, and till 10 minutes into the second-half, the jeepmen were coasting 4-0 and were coasting for the semis berth when news came in that Churchill made 5-0 against HAL as pressure caught of with the Derrick Perreira's boys at Barasat.

Mohammadan Sporting then banged in two goals in the closing minutes to oust Mahindra United from the 16-team championship fought for the first time on a league-cum-knock out basis.

The Group B toppers, Churchill Brothers will lock horns against I-League champions Dempo on December 18, for a place in the Federation Cup summit clash which will be held on December 21.

Churchill drew the first blood in the fifth minute through Bineesh Balan, who went on to score a brace.

Odafe began the rout with a 16th minute goal, while Ogba Kalu Nnanna made it 3-0 just a minute later.

After the changeover, the floodgates again opened up for Churchill Brothers as Odafe scored his second in the 61st minute to see their side go 4-0 up. Four minutes later, Balan did the damage as HAL were shown no mercy at the Salt Lake Stadium.

A penalty conversion by Odafe in the 81st minute took his personal tally to three goals, and the team's 6-0, as Churchill assured themselves for the semis berth. Just two minutes before the final whistle, Odafe made the scoreline 7-0.
     At Barasat, Mahindra United dominated Mohammadan Sporting right from the start. In the 16th minute, Mohammadan received their first jolt when their ace defender Anit Ghosh brought down Manjit Singh to be awarded a free-kick.

To add to their woes, Anit injured his right leg in the tussle and was ruled out from the defence line-up. That set the ball rolling for Mahindra who scored through the free-kick which was taken by Steven Dias from outside the penalty box.

Dias' shot landed near the goalmouth melee but Mohammadan Sporting defence and Mahindra striker Chidi Edeh who had positioned themselves brilliantly were beaten by the bounce of the ball which hit the upright to curve into the net in the 17th minute.

Having missed a chance in the 13th minute when he hit the cross bar, Edeh, however, was on target in the 33rd minute, taking advantage of the loose defence in absence of Anit as the Mumbai side went into the second half 2-0 up. 

After the change of ends, a deft touch from Sheikh Azim of Mohammadan Sporting was enough for Mahindra's Mohammad Rafi to pull down as referee A Arjunan quickly awarded a penalty.

Cashing in on the opportunity, Rafi cleared the Tharangachan Tungshang defence in the 56th minute to see Mahindra go 3-0 up.

Eleven minutes later, another penalty was awarded, this time at the edge of the box to infuriate Mohammadan Sporting players who went on to the extent of threatening the referee who later booked Satyajit Bose and R Amla Francis Nova in a series of yellow card decisions.

But the protest was not enough to stop Mahindra United from going 4-0 up through the penalty conversion by Edeh in the 68th minute.

With 4-0 up they almost booked their place in the knockout but Pereira's men while attacking let loose their defence, a brief lapse which cost them a place in the next round.

A freekick earned Mohammadan Sporting their first goal as Mohammad Shahid headed it home to reduce the margin.

The goal was enough to put pressure on coach Perreira who kept on shouting 'buck up' from the edges but news crept in that at YBK Churchill were coasting 7-0 over HAL.

As if that was not enough, Mohammadan Sporting scored their second goal, this time in the added first minute after the regulation time.

Replacing Satyajit Bose, Vimal Pariyar did a 'Bend it like Beckham' as the curve in his freekick was enough to beat the Mahindra United line of defence.

With two teams each from Group A and B decided for the semi-final stage, the league of Group C and D will begin from Thursday.

JCT will take on current I-League leaders Sporting Clube de Goa, while Kolkata giants East Bengal will face qualifiers New Delhi Heroes in the Group C openers on Thursday.

Group D, which features Mohun Bagan, Vasco SC, Air India and qualifiers Oil India Limited, will open their matches on Friday.

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