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Chidi takes Sporting Clube into last eight

Last updated on: October 21, 2005 21:35 IST

Sporting Clube de Goa rode on the opportunism of Edeh Chidi to get the better of State Bank of Travancore 2-1 and move into the quarter-finals of the Federation Cup football tournament at the Nehru stadium, in Fatorda, Goa, on Friday.

The Nigerian striker kept a cool head to slot the ball home twice in the first half and give the Goa side a well-deserved berth in the last eight stage.

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The bankmen played their hearts out, but the overall ascendancy of the home side proved too difficult to overcome. In fact, it was they who did the initial probing with some hard running off the ball but some stouthearted defending by the Goans brought their efforts to nought. Goalkeeper Felix D'Souza denied them a chance to forge ahead in the tenth minute when he dived to his right to fist away a still shot from Kabeer.

But that was the only clear look the bankmen had in the first half. After that, once Sporting Clube settled down and resorted to bouts of short passing, SBT were always under pressure.

Sporting should have opened their account in the 26th minute but their skipper, Dudu Omaghbemi, shot straight into goalkeeper Harshan Rehman from close. Rehman did well to fist away a stiff 40-yard left-footer from Joseph Pereira a minute later.

But they were a goal up in the 29th minute when Chidi scored following a corner from Suresh Dalvi. He intercepted a feeble clearance by defender Sivakumar and drove home.

The goal spurred the Sporting forwards. With medios Bibiano Fernandes and Joseph Pereira making good openings they always harried the SBT defence, though they could only add another goal a minute from the breather, when Dudu turned provider with a good run into the box for Chidi to place the ball past Rehman.

The second session was similar story with the Goans calling the tune but failing to score. Chidi could have had the distinction of scoring the first hat-trick of the tournament but he frittered away a couple of chance, his best being in the 68th minute when he ballooned over from close when put through by Dudu.

The bankmen got a consolation goal in the third minute of stoppage time when Martin John headed a long overhead ball from Abdul Naushad past goalkeeper Felix D'Souza, who was caught off his line.

For a solid performance in defence Phillip Gomes was adjudged the man of the match.

Our Correspondent