Churchill to clash with Sporting Clube de Goa in Fed Cup final
Kochi: Churchill Brothers and Sporting Clube de Goa will face each other in the summit clash of the 35th Federation Cup tournament after notching up victories against Mohun Bagan and Dempo respectively.Churchill defeated Mohun Bagan 2-1 in the first semi-final while Sporting Clube de Goa emerged 3-2 victorious in extra time in an absorbing match against Dempo later in the day.
In an ill-tempered second semi-final, Arturo Garcia converted two penalty kicks to send Sporting Clube de Goa in Saturday’s final which will be an all-Goan affair. Garcia scored in the 82nd minute and second half of extra time while Sporting Clube de Goa’s first goal was scored by Boima Karpeh in the 30th minute.
For Dempo, Tolgay Ozbey and Amiri scored in the 72nd and 88th minutes respectively. The winner of the Federation Cup will qualify for the AFC Cup, the second-tier club competition of the continent. Churchill were the dominant side against Bagan and an unmarked Balwant headed in Thangjam Singh’s corner to take the lead in the fourth minute.
The second goal came 10 minutes later with Balwant receiving the ball on the edge of the 18-yard box where he was brought down by Aiborlang Khongjee. Anthony Wolfe made no mistake to convert from the spot. It was barely 15 minutes into the game and Churchill, with all in control, were already 2-0 up. The trend continued for the first 20 minutes as most of the play restricted to Bagan’s half. Whenever Bagan tried to attacked, everything was mostly directed towards Odafa Okolie, making it all the easier for their rivals.
Odafa was not allowed to turn and when he did for the first time in the 30th minute, he set up Ram Malik in the clear. But as Ram was that split second late in pulling the trigger, Ravanan Dharamraj recovered to thwart the danger.
It was in the 32nd minute that Bagan had their first crack at the Churchill goal. But Yusa Katsumi’s shot was palmed away by Lalit Thapa. However, Odafa reduced the margin for Bagan the very next minute. The Nigerian chested Denson’s through pass and placed it past Thapa.In the second half, Churchill survived a scare in the 54th minute. Christopher Chiboza trapped Odafa’s pass but his left-footer agonisingly hit the post after beating a diving Thapa.