Kolkata: East Bengal became the first team to storm into the 129th Durand Cup semi-finals after super-sub Bidyashagar Singh struck a double to help them rally and post a 2-1 win over Bengaluru FC on Wednesday.
East Bengal topped the group with nine points from three matches and will face the toppers from group D where Gokulam Kerala lead the table after their 3-0 win against Indian Airforce.
A young, extremely fast Bengaluru FC made things difficult for East Bengal with Ajay Chhetri giving the BFC reserves a 17th-minute goal with a stunning goal.
Bengaluru FC led the attack in the first half, with occasional cameos from the red and gold.
The scenario changed in the 46th minute when Bidyashagar was brought on as a substitute for Boithang Haokip.
Bidyashagar scored the equaliser in the 59th minute with an assist from Brandon Vanlalremdika, following up with another one in the 74th minute, saving the day for his team.
The game-changing heroics were good enough for him to be adjudged the Man of the Match.
FC Goa, Gokulam Kerala put themselves within touching distance of semi-finals
Gokulam Kerala FC and FC Goa won against their respective opponents to maintain their winning momentum in the 129th Durand Cup on Wednesday.
Gokulam Kerala's Trinidad and Tobago playmaker Marcus Joseph once again did the maximum damage, striking a double (43rd, 87th) while Shibil Muhammed scored in the 56th minute to fashion a 3-0 win over Indian Airforce at the Sailen Manna Stadium in Howrah.
Joseph struck a hat-trick in their 4-0 win over Indian Super League franchise Chennaiyin FC, their second successive win taking them to the top of the Group D table.
A draw against I-League debutants from Manipur, TRAU FC, on 18 August will be enough for the Kerala outfit to seal a semi-final berth.
Meanwhile, FC Goa developmental's outfit also remained in the hunt for a semi-final berth from Group C, securing a hard-fought 2-1 win over Chennai City FC, who are fielding a reserve side.
Liston Colaco and Nestor Dias netted a goal each and guided FC Goa Developmental Team to win over I-League champions Chennai City 2-1 in Durand Cup 2019 @IndianFootball @FCGoaOfficial @ChennaiyinFC @Odishasports #SportsLogon pic.twitter.com/S6KSqyaJuz
— Tanmay Das (@tanmay__das) August 14, 2019
The Goan ISL franchise are now level with Real Kashmir FC with six points each and their result on 17 August will determine the semi-finalists from Group C.
Liston Colaco drew the first blood to give the Goans an eighth-minute lead but Mashoor Shereef restored parity in the 16th minute.
Nestor Dias struck the winning goal for FC Goa in the 30th minute to give them their second successive victory.
In their opening match, the Goans had defeated defending champions Army Green 1-0.
Updated Date: Aug 14, 2019 23:15:14 IST