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Goan flavour for Fed Cup semis as Salgaocar, Churchill advance

September 24, 2012 20:16 IST

Reigning champions Salgaocar and Churchill Brothers booked semi-final berths by registering facile wins over their respective opponents in the 34th Federation Cup on Monday.

Salgaocar defeated Pune FC 2-1 at the JRD Sports Complex in Jamshedpur to set up a last-four clash against I-League champions Dempo.

At the Kanchanjungha Stadium in Siliguri, Churchill Brothers routed a 10-man Air India 4-0 to emerge group D toppers, making it three Goan teams in the last-four.

With star-studded Kolkata teams, Mohun Bagan and United SC coming a cropper, there is a chance of an all-Goan affair in the premier tournament.

Sporting Clube are in line for the fourth semifinalist spot as they lead group C with a better goal difference against last year's runners-up East Bengal, the only Kolkata team left in the fray.

In the group D match in Jamshedpur, the defending champions got a seventh minute lead when an unmarked Luciano Sabrosa powerfully headed the ball in from a corner kick.

But Churchill's joy was shortlived as a spirited Pune FC equalised in space of five minutes when Douhou Pierre fired in from a 20-yard shot that beat the goalkeeper Karanjit Singh.

Salgaocar, however, restored the lead when their in-form forward Anthony D'Souza found the winner in the 27th minute to earn their third successive victory for nine points en route to the semis.

In another inconsequential group D tie at the Keenan Stadium in Jamshedpur, Mohammad Rafique struck a brace (4th, 16th) to help United SC blank United Sikkim 2-0 and sign off with a solitary win.

Salgaocar will lock horns against Dempo in their semis in Siliguri on September 28.

Churchill would face either Sporting Clube de Goa or East Bengal in the first semi-final, also in Siliguri, on September 27.

The summit clash is on September 30.

In the Group B match in Siliguri, Churchill's goal flurry began with Henry Autchouet's strike in the 22nd minute from a solitary effort as they led 1-0 at the interval. Beto doubled the lead when he scored from a brilliant 18-yard freekick in the 64th minute.

There was more misery in store for the Air India when two minute later Micky Fernandes was red-carded for fouling Beto.

Akram Moghrabi (84th) and Bikramjit Singh (90th) completed the rout for the Goan heavyweights.

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