Former champions Army Green came out with a 1-0 victory against I-League side Sudeva Delhi FC to storm into to the quarter-finals of the 130th Durand Cup at the Mohun Bagan ground on Friday. Deepak Singh, their two-goal hero from their 3-1 win against Jamshedpur FC (JFC) earlier in the tournament, was on target again to see the Greens through. It was the final day of Group B with Army Green, Sudeva Delhi FC, FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC, all in action at the same time. All the three teams, apart from FC Goa, had a shot at the knockout stages.
JFC went down 5-0, allowing Army Green to go through along with group toppers FC Goa, who have had three wins out of three.
In the initial quarter of the first half, both Army Green and Sudeva created opportunities but it was all Greens after that. In the 9th minute, the Greens had their first big scoring opportunity when Lallawmkima took a brilliant header but it could not go past Sudeva keeper Sachin Jha. Shubham Rana took another shot at goal on the rebound but Sachin came up with another brilliant save.
The ball hovered around the Sudeva goal for most part of the first half. Thirty minutes into the game, two back-to-back corners almost got the Greens on the board, but Sachin made sure it was goalless at half time.
Sudeva looked all charged up in the second half. In the 46th minute, William Pauliankhum had the ball just a few yards away from the goal but failed to score.
Army Green came back strong and in the 51st minute courtesy a nice set up and a wonderful assist by Dip Mazumdar as Deepak tapped the ball into the net. The Delhi side did have a few chances to equalise but they could not go past Army Green’s defence and ended the campaign with three losses.
Deepak Singh was adjudged the Man of the Match.
FC GOA BLITZ JFC
In the day’s other game, FC Goa put up a dominating performance to rout JFC 5-0 and finished on top with nine points and pushed their ISL rivals out of the tournament.
It was an incident-free first quarter of an hour with Goa keeping the likes of Glan Martins and Makan Chote on the bench and giving Brandon a start along with a third keeper in the tournament in Hrithik Tiwari.
They were looking to take control and eventually Devendra got a free-header off a corner in the 20th minute and nodded home from close to give Goa their first goal of the game. Then six minutes later, Princeton Rebello got two bites of the cherry inside the JFC box and blasted the second one home past a hapless Vishal Yadav under the JFC bar.
Murgaokar then tapped in a third, his second of the game and third of the tournament, a minute before the break to make it 3-0 for the Goans at half time.
The talented Muhammed Nemil then made the second half his own with a double strike. He scored the first just after commencement and then in the 81st minute smartly chipped the keeper for his third of the tournament and Goa’s fifth of the game.
It was a resounding performance and Nemil was the adjudged the Man of the Match.