IFA Shield: Santos hold East Bengal 1-1, Churchill win

March 4th, 2008 - 12:06 am ICT by admin  

Kolkata, March 3 (IANS) South Africa’s Santos FC played a 1-1 draw with East Bengal to ensure top position in Group A while Churchill Brothers defeated Mohammedan Sporing 2-0 to ensure top position in Group B in the 113th IFA Shield here Monday. The final day of the group league stage saw the matches being shifted to district centres owing to he unavailability of the regular Salt Lake Stadium.

Playing at Howrah Stadium near here, local favourite East Bengal failed to muster enough sting to outdo the Durban-based team.

Needing a win with at least a three-goal margin to technically keep their hopes alive for the semi-finals, East Bengal worked hard but could not find the target more than once.

Santos began on a breezy note and found the lead in the seventh minute. Gregory Michael Roelf tapped home sprinting from the midfield to avail a cross from Clifton Davids.

After conceding the goal East Bengal doubled its efforts gunning for the equaliser, which was realised in the 14th minute off a penalty.

Brazilian import Edmilson Marques scored from the sport after referee A. Arjunan hauled up Santos custodian Eduan Andre Naude for bringing Edmilson down inside own box.

The home side earned a few opportunities late in the second session but the score-line remained unaltered as its attackers showed poor reflexes on the opponent goalmouth.

The draw helped Santos tally four points from two matches, which made it the group topper with holder Mahindra United second on three points. East Bengal crashed out of the shield.

Churchill Brothers playing at Barasat stadium against Mohammedan Sporting confirmed their stay on top of Group B with two second-half goals.

Ogba Kalu netted the first goal in the 60th minute and Jaison Valses doubled the score in the 82nd minute. Churchill, who won two matches and drew one, remained unbeaten with seven points.

In the third match of the day, Mohun Bagan defeated Dhaka-based Mohammedan Sporting 3-1. Sporting went into the lead in the 40th minute of the first half through an Enamul Sarif goal. Bagan restored parity in the 45th minute when Baichung slotted home a Jose Ramirez Barreto pass.

Two minutes into the injury time in the first half, Baichung doubled his tally with an opportunistic goal. In the 67th minute Aarman Ahmed of the visitors were given marching order after collecting the second yellow card of the game. In the 83rd minute, Mohun Bagan’s Ishfaq Ahmed capped a fine solo with a brilliant goal to make it 3-1.

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