Federation Cup: Uilliams' late winner dumps out East Bengal, takes Shillong to semis

Federation Cup: Uilliams' late winner dumps out East Bengal, takes Shillong to semis

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Uilliams' goal in the second half of extra time guided Shillong Lajong to a 2-2 draw against East Bengal in the second leg of their tie at the Barasat Stadium on Wednesday. The draw gave Shillong a 4-3 aggregate win over the home side, and booked their place semi-final of the Federation Cup.

East Bengal XI (4-2-3-1): Rehenesh TP(GK), Deepak Mandal, Arnab Mondal(C), Bello Rassaq, Narayan Das, Mehtab Hossain, Harmanjot Khabra, Sanju Pradhan, Do Dong-Hyun, Lalrindika Ralte, Ranti Martins.

Shillong Lajong FC XI (4-4-2): Vishal Kaith(GK), Nimdorjee Tamang, Chinglensana Singh Konsham, Samuel Shadap, Pritam Kumar Singh, Isaac Vanmalsawma, Penn Orji(C), Boithang Haokip, Bipin Singh, Fabio Pena, Samuel Lalmuanpuia.

Limping out of the I-League title race, Biswajit Bhattacharya resigning after the defeat to Bengaluru FC, reports of unrest in the dressing room, losing 2-1 to Shillong Lajong in the first leg of the Federation Cup—the past one month has not been too good for East Bengal.

They welcomed Shillong at the Barasat Stadium needing an inspirational performance to keep their season alive, and Trevor Morgan made just one change to the lineup from the first leg. Shylo Malsawmtluanga was replaced by Sanju Pradhan on the right wing, with the Red and Gold brigade in desperate need of goals.

The visitors made one change to their team as well, with Samuel Shadap replacing the suspended Robin Gurung, who saw a red card towards the end of the first leg.

The home side made a bright start to the game with a lot of aggressive intent in the midfield. Mehtab Hossain, in particular, put in some crunching challenges, and it was clear that Trevor Morgan had special instructions for him to deal with Shillong's prime orchestrator Penn Orji.

However, it was the away side who took the lead in the 17th minute after Deepak Mandal stopped Bipin Singh's cross with his hand. Fabio Pena, who scored the winner in the first leg, stepped up and converted from the spot to give his team a 1-3 aggregate lead in the tie.

However, Shillong returned East Bengal the favour just six minutes later when Nimdorjee Tamang blocked Dong's attempted shot with his hand. Ranti Martins beat Vishal Kaith with ease from the penalty spot and brought the tie back to life.

That goal, and a mini water break, gave East Bengal the lift they needed and they moved forward in numbers, buoyed on by the home support, in search of their second goal. The goal arrived in the 36th minute, and it was a thing of beauty.

After some lovely interplay between Deepak and Sanju down the right wing, the later picked out Dong inside the Shillong box with a low cross. The South Korean set up Lalrindika Ralte with a delightful cushion touch, and the attacking midfielder delightfully curled the ball into the top corner of the far post with his left leg. The goalkeeper could only watch in dismay, as Dika wheeled away towards the supporters in jubilation. That goal made it 2-1, and restored parity in the tie with the aggregate score finely balanced at 3-3.

Shillong Lajong started the second half on the front foot, and after weathering the early storm, East Bengal once again gained control of the game. Morgan made a tactical substitution in the 63rd minute, replacing Deepak Mandal with Bernard Mendy, who had turned to the side after recovering from injury.

The Frenchman moved to the midfield with Khabra taking up the role of the right back. Mendy's presence added a lot of physicality and drive from the center of the park. East Bengal created, and missed, a host of chances in final third, when they could have easily put the tie to bed.

Neither team could find the deciding goal in second half, as the tie went into extra time. With the players tiring under the hot weather, chances were few and far between for both teams. The home side dominated most of the possession, however, it was Shillong who scored the all-important second away goal, in the second half of the extra time.

In the 114th minute, Penn Orji drilled in a delightful cross from the right wing at the far post. Uilliams Bomfin, who came in as a substitute late in the first half, ghosted in at the far post with both Bello Rassaq and Arnab Mondal caught out of position. The Brazilian striker chested down the ball, and then tucked the ball into the net, past a hapless Rehenesh. The goal silenced the home crowd as East Bengal did not really have enough time to respond to it.

The match ended in a 2-2 draw with Shillong booking their place in the semis of the Fed Cup with a 4-3 aggregate win over East Bengal.

Sporting Clube de Goa vs Mumbai FC

Sporting Clube de Goa defeated Mumbai FC 1-0 in their second leg tie at the Tilak Maidan in Goa on Wednesday to register a 2-0 aggregate win to enter the semi-final of the Federation Cup. Subhashish Bose scored a penalty in the 46th minute to score the only goal of the game. Sporting will now take on Aizawl FC in the semi-final first leg match on May 7. 

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