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Pune FC, Churchill enter Durand Cup semis

Last updated on: October 10, 2011 21:45 IST

Pune FC have written history again. This time it is for making it to their first major national tournament semi-finals.

On Monday, Pune FC, needing a win against Air-India to log the historic moment, did just that and entered the last four stage of the 124th Durand Cup at the Ambedkar stadium, in New Delhi.

Goals by substitutes Paresh Shivalkar (74th minute) and Rollingson Hyungyo (84th) helped them score a 2-1 victory and etch another landmark since their existence in 2007. They rallied from a goal down-situation, when Sandesh Gadkari nodded home from a corner-kick in the eighth minute of play.

The victory was a major achievement for Pune FC who fell short in a similar situation in the IFA Shield 2010-11 season -- the only difference then was they needed a point to qualify from the last match against Shillong Lajong but ended up losing.

Incidentally, for Pune FC a semi-final berth in the third oldest tournament of the world comes in its third attempt after exiting in the qualifying stage in 2008 and failing to make it past the group stage after finishing second last year.

The win helped Pune FC top Group-3 unbeaten with four points. They now run into defending champions Prayag United (formerly Chirag United SC) on Friday.

Churchill down Mohd Sporting for place in semis

Former champions Churchill Brothers beat 10-man Mohammedan Sporting 2-0, on Monday, to advance to the semi-finals.

Churchill scored through Roberto Mendis Silva (9th, penalty) and Lalrindika Ralte (88th) in their last Group IV league match at Ambedkar Stadium.

The Goan side topped the three-team group with six points from two wins and they now play Shillong Lajong in the second semis on Wednesday.