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Rediff.com  » Sports » Assam Rifles thrash Navy XI, J & K Bank beat Oil India

Assam Rifles thrash Navy XI, J & K Bank beat Oil India

October 23, 2007 20:12 IST

Assam Rifles thrashed Navy XI 6-0 while J & K Bank got past Oil India Ltd 2-0 in the Osian's Durand Cup qualifiers at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The riflemen found the net through Abel Sema (33rd minute), Akum Ao (43rd), Thoithoiba Singh (52nd), D Mukhin (64th), Ajit Singh (69th) and Nouba Singh (79th).

In the other match, the bankmen withstood relentless pressure from Oil India to come through with a brace from Bilal Ahmed (38th and 82nd minutes).

Assam Rifles and J & K Bank will face off on October 26 for a spot in the main draw of the 120th edition of the historical tournament.

The navymen were distinctly second best but held out till after the half hour mark, thanks to several good saves by goalkeeper SVV Suku.

Akum Ao and Abel Sema gave the Navy defence plenty of anxious moments and broke through when a Thoithoiba corner was backheeled by Ajit Singh for Sema to find the net off the upright.

Navy were limited to sporadic attempts on goal and fell further behind before the break when a cross from J Kharlukhi was volleyed home by Akum.

The floodgates were opened after half-time when Assam Rifles got their third, thanks to a rare mistake by Suku.

The goalkeeper dropped a corner taken by Meikegai Kamai and Thoithoiba was close at hand to take advantage.

The fourth came soon after when Kamai crossed from the right for Mukhin to score.

Kamai was in the thick of the action again when his pass provided a simple tap in for Ajit Singh.

The navymen were completely demoralised by now and Nouba took advantage when he was left totally unmarked in the box as he directed a Saurav Mitra corner goalwards after it came to him following a faulty clearance.

Despite the one-sided scoreline, Assam Rifles coach Santanu Basu said his team could have played better.

"May be the lacklustre display by the opposition had something to do with it. I did not expect Navy to play so poorly," Basu said.

J & K Bank had their custodian Vikramjeet Singh to thank who made several splendid saves.

After some initial sparring, Oil India took control of the midfield and H L Routa came close at the half hour mark when his powerful shot from outside the box was tipped on to the crossbar by Vikramjeet.

As Oil India pressed, a quick counter-attack paid dividends for the bankmen.

Emmanueil Nnamani spread the ball to Showkat Sultan at the half-way line who found the speedy Bilal who beat custodian Jitu Chetry from just inside the box.

Oil India launched raid after raid but lack of quality in the final third and Vikramjeet in the rival goal put paid to their intentions.

J & K Bank made the game safe when Bilal got behind the defence and beat Chetry who brought the attacker down in the box. Referee Rajeev Choudhury pointed to the spot and Bilal found the target to seal Oil India's fate.

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