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Rediff.com  » Sports » E Bengal edge Pune FC; Wahingdoh stun Churchill

E Bengal edge Pune FC; Wahingdoh stun Churchill

Last updated on: September 19, 2011 20:48 IST

Defending champions Kingfisher East Bengal showed their class as they beat Pune FC 2-1 in the Federation Cup football tournament, at the Salt Lake Stadium, in Kolkata, on Monday.

Following the victory, East Bengal have four points from two matches, while Pune FC stay on three after their second outing.

East Bengal's Scottish recruit Alan Gow put the Red-and-Gold brigade in the lead in the 42nd minute, only for India striker Jeje Lalpeklua to restore parity in the 57th.

But Robin Singh pierced the final nail in Pune's coffin, scoring what turned out to be the match-winner in the 82nd minute.

East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan rang in six changes to his playing eleven. Even skipper Sanju Pradhan was kept on the bench while Robin Singh was a surprise inclusion.

And the move worked wonders.

East Bengal attacked relentlessly but Pune FC goalkeeper Subrata Paul was equal to the task.

However, Pune were dealt with a blow as Subrata had to be replaced by 18-year-old Amrinder Singh after picking an injury.

Twenty-five minutes on, Subrata, rising to thwart Gow, collided with the striker and had to be stretchered out after jerking his leg.

The attacking tactics adopted by Morgan eventually paid off when Gow, in a defining move from the right flank, beat Amrinder to put his side ahead in the 42nd minute.

The second half was marred by a flurry of yellow cards -- two for Pune and one for East Bengal. In midst of all, Jeje struck the equaliser for Pune.

Stung by the reverse, East Bengal went all out in attack. Ultimately, in the 82nd minute, an unmarked Robin unleashed a left-footer that bulged the net. 

Wahingdoh down Churchill

Two days after upsetting McDowell Mohun Bagan's applecart, Shillong's Wahingdoh FC shocked Churchill Brothers 2-1 to brighten their chances of a semi-final berth.

They have six points from two matches while Churchill have three from their opening encounter.

After captain Seityasen Singh put Wahingdoh in the lead in the 29th minute, Jackichand Singh doubled the lead in the 53rd.

Seityasen wrong-footed Denzil Franco inside the box and beat Arindam Bhattacharya with a left-footed grounder for his team's first goal.

The second goal will be remembered for long. Jackichand received a pass from Chenco in his own half and ran past the entire Churchill midfield, entered the box and slotted the ball home.

Henry Arnaud converted one from the spot for Churchill in the 72nd minute to reduce the margin.

Wahingdoh outplayed Churchill tactically. They preferred to play the waiting game and depended on counter-attacks. And when they countered, their pace kept Churchill guessing.

Churchill were guilty of muffing a number of opportunities in the first half -- Henry and Opra Ndubuisi failing to tap in from close on three occasions. Henry did pull one back but it was a bit too late.

A minute's silence was observed prior to the match in honour of the earthquake victims.

AGENCIES