Biswas puts Bengal in Santosh Trophy finalJune 10th, 2009 - 9:49 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, June 10 (IANS) Goals by Gouranga Biswas helped Bengal beat Services 2-0 and enter the final of the 63rd National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy here Wednesday.
Biswas struck in the 35th and 65th minutes to put the 29 times champions in the final after a lapse of two years. Services proved unequal to the task in the semi-final.
Bengal now await the winners of the second semi-final between Goa and Tamil Nadu to be played Thursday. The final is scheduled for Sunday.
Services were rendered clueless against the talented Bengal who absorbed some heavy pressure early on before hitting back strongly to avenge last year’s 1-4 semi-final defeat.
Bengal defenders came up with a fine performance to thwart the Services onslaughts that were frequent to begin with and which then turned sporadic.
Biswas, however, blotted his book by taking a yellow card for retaliation as did Services’ Poukiliung in the final minute.
Services started on a promising note with a series of attacks from either flank, and the Bengal defence was stretched to breakpoint.
A few opportunities did come the Services way. Their hero last year, Sochungmi Raleng, made a couple of attempts but could not find the target. It was hardly a surprise that late in the second-half he was substituted.
The closest Services came to scoring was when right-back Lalruatafela, latching on to a ball in the midfield, let fly from 40 yards. The ball dipped dangerously, but goalkeeper Subhashish Roy Chaudhary managed to tip it over for a grand save.
A relieved Bengal gradually eased their way into the match with some strong build-ups to push the Services on the back foot. The signs of Bengal dominance were evident as they took control in the midfield.
With Pachau Lalam Puia, Bengal’s saviour in the league with a couple of timely goals, closely shadowed, Biswas took on the gauntlet and looked the more dangerous.
As time went by, Bengal’s ascendancy became more pronounced. It was not long before they struck a telling blow when Biswas managed to get a touch to send the ball in after a Puia attempt following a pass from Snehashish Chakraborty.
Encouraged, Bengal stepped up pressure with Puia coming up with some dangerous runs. But the Services hung on if only just to go into the break without conceding a second goal.
On resumption, the Services showed more intent on keeping possession while taking a few jabs at the Bengal defence to force an opening. All their promptings failed.
Far too intent on attacking, Services left themselves open for a counter attack and it came rather suddenly.
Biswas gained possession after an indirect free-kick by Gordon bounced off a defender and ran loose. The Bengal striker then covered nearly the entire length of the field and foxed the goalkeeper to score.
Bengal proceeded to sit on the 2-0 advantage by packing their defence and rode the punches, ineffective though they were, that the Services threw at them. Goalkeeper Roy Chaudhary brought off a couple of brilliant saves to further frustrate the Services who made their exit having scored just two goals in four matches.
Tags: ascendancy, bengal, chennai, dominance, flank, gauntlet, goa, goalkeeper, match, midfield, national football championship, promising note, retaliation, santosh trophy, saviour, second half, tamil, target, ups, yellow card