Vasco upset Mohun Bagan 1-0; Oil India hold Air India 1-1 (Lead)

December 14th, 2008 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Barasat, Dec 14 (IANS) Grimly defending for almost the entire 90 minutes, underdogs Vasco Sports Club struck an out-of-the-blue goal to pip former champions Mohun Bagan 1-0 in a group D game of the 30th Federation Cup football tournament here Sunday.Mohun Bagan failed to convert a plethora of chances into goals, mainly due to dour defending of the Goans and a spectacular display under the bar by Laxmikant Kattimani, till Vasco substitute Agenlo Colaco’s goal against the run of play resolved the deadlock.

In an earlier match of the same group, Air India saved themselves the blushes with a late strike to finish 1-1 with a fighting Oil India.

After a sedate first half, the proceedings livened up in the second session, as the Assam team went into the lead in the 64th minute through a spectacular strike from Raju Kanwar.

But Michael Tayo kept Air India’s hopes alive in the tournament by restoring parity a minute before the final whistle. Tayo’s effort also showed the exit door to Oil India, as they have culled only a solitary point from two games.

The Oilmen drew first blood. Nigerian Okwuelum Ezekiel failed to convert through a cross from the left, but Raju Kanwar followed up well and fired a 25-yard snap shot which bulleted into the net.

Air India upped the ante after conceding the goal, and got several chances which went abegging. Subhash Singh alone muffed up three of them in quick succession.

With the clock ticking, the sparse crowd at the Vidyasagar Stadium started bracing themselves up for a big upset. But Tayo turned the script upside down from a counter as he put the ball in following a quick pass from Subhas Singh.

The other match was one-sided, but Agnelo Colaco - coming on to the ground late in the second half - unleashed a sudden 30-yard lob in the 79th minute that dropped into the net and took Bagan goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee by surprise.

After two rounds, Air India now top the group with four points, while Vasco and Mohun Bagan are both a point behind. All three are in the reckoning for a single semi-final berth from the group that will be decided Tuesday when Bagan take on Air India and Vasco clash with Oil India.

Playing against the Goan side now occupying the last spot in the I-League, Bagan went on the offensive from the word go.

Early on Lalampuiya’s left footer went marginally over, while Marcos Prereira’s effort was saved by Kattimani

In the 38th minute, Ishfaq Ahmed launched on a solo, latching on to a long pass from Pereira, and dodged past a defender before taking a diagonal grounder which went just past the goal.

Crossing over, Bagan intensified the attack, and at the hour mark substitute Jose Barreto set up Pereira with a short pass, but Katiimani dives on to the ground to block the shot. Pereira unleashed another firm kick on the rebound, but that was off-target.

A little later, Pereira’s 22-yard freekick crashed on to the post. Bhaichung headed home the rebound, but the goal was cancelled as the Sikkimese was ruled off-side. In the first half also, Bhaichung had put the ball into the net, but the off-side rule intervened.

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