Tolgay star of East Bengal win, JCT oust Sporting

October 30th, 2010 - 7:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 30 (IANS) Australian striker Tolgay Uzbey guided Federation Cup champions East Bengal to a 4-1 win over Air India while JCT ousted Sporting Clube De Goa 3-0 in the Durand Cup football tournament here Saturday.

Tolgay struck twice (43rd, 71st) and Nigerians Ekene Ekenewa (88th) and Penn (90th) scored a goal apiece as 16-time champions East Bengal came from a goal down to win their quarter-final league game at the Ambedkar Stadium. Nigerian Yusuf Ibrahim Tijani scored for Air India, who suffered their second successive defeat in the league to bow out of the tournament.

After a scrappy first half, East Bengal came out with a better plan in the second to dash Air India’s hopes of a semi-final berth.

East Bengal looked a disoriented side in the first 30 minutes as the defence came under relentless pressure from Air India forwards. Air India took the lead in the 14th minute, Yusuf Ibrahim Tijani finding the back of the net from a throw.

Tolgay, 24, was a livewire, marshalling their attack. Just two minute before the breather, former Sydney FC striker of Turkish origin, struck the equaliser for the red and gold brigade after the ball skimmed striker Robin Singh’s head off Mehtab Hussain’s flag-kick.

East Bengal was a far better side on resumption and tried to use the set-pieces, though they could not score as freely as they should have.

Nine minutes into the second half, East Bengal got a chance to break the deadlock, but Penn failed to score from a through pass from Tolgay by shooting wide. Then Harmanjot Singh Khabra’s header was brilliantly saved by Air India goalkeeper Chancal Saha at the hour mark, and in the next minute Nigerian Uka Okpara’s header from Sanju Pradhan’s free-kick went out kissing the bar.

In the 71st minute, Penn penetrated the defence and after an excellent tackle on the back-line give a pin-point pass to Tolgay, who slotted it home (2-1). The Kolkata giants found the last two goals in the dying minutes of the game.

Ekenewa, who came on as a substitute for Tolgay, scored the third in the 88th minute from a precise pass from Penn, who himself completed the tally with an excellent curling shot from the right edge of the box.

Earlier, JCT scored three goals in the last 10 minutes to end Sporting Clube De Goa’s campaign. After the second loss, Sporting are out of the tournament.

Bidemi Ayeni gave JCT the lead in the 81st minute from a header and three minutes later struck again. Ajai Singh made it 3-0 in the 86th minute.

Sporting got a chance to pull one back in the 87th minute, but their Australia import Joshua Maguire failed to convert the penalty kick.

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