Bhubaneswar: Riding on a second half goal by Nigerian striker Omegbemi Dudu, Kolkata-based I-League club East Bengal defeated ISL club FC Goa by 1-0 goals to sail into the finals of Super Cup Football Tournament played at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
East Bengal attacked continuously at the Goan goalpost and got numerous chances to score a goal in the first half. Samaad Ali Mullick’s kick in the third minute of the game went wide off the post while in the 19th minute Mahmoud Al Amna couldn’t get a touch on a cross from Yusa Katsumi from the left flank.
Couple of minutes later, Omegbemi Dudu failed to convert a good chance where he was in a one-on-one position with FC Goa goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani, who advanced forward and the ball deflected off his legs out of the pitch.
Yusa Katsumi got two back-to-back opportunities for the Kolkata-based club in the 34th minute but both went in-vain. First Katsumi’s shot on target was blocked by defender Mohamed Ali and on the second occasion the goalkeeper effected a good save to deny the first goal.
Katsumi again ran down alone from the left flank in the 44th minute and kicked the ball which was again on target but Laxmikant Kattimani stopped the ball with elan.
FC Goa finally got a chance in the injury time of the first half. Ferran Corominas took a shot inside the penalty area but it was blocked by Lalram Chullova on the goaline. His second attempt off the rebound hit the crossbar and the first half ended without a single goal.
FC Goa looked more attacking in the second half of the game. Although 10 minutes after the break, Dudu failed to get a header right, after a cross from Yusa Katsumi from the left flank, Goa got three good opportunities by constantly attacking the East Bengal goalpost.
Debutant Amey Ranawade had a great chance in the 59th minute but his run from the right flank was blocked by East Bengal goalkeeper Ubaid CK. Another attack from the left flank in the 68th minute was cleared away by East Bengal defenders.
Ferran Corominas went for a direct free-kick in the 73rd minute which hit the crossbar and a golden opportunity in the second half was again wasted by the Goan unit.
The only goal came in the 78th minute through Omegbemi Dudu for East Bengal. Yusa Katsumi crossed the ball into the box and right in front of the post. A little lapse in Goan defence allowed Dudu to sneak in and slot the ball into the post and get 1-0 lead for the Bengal team.
Goa skipper Edu Bedia missed the last 10 minutes of the game as he drew a red card after two yellow cards in the game and Goa played with only 10 players till the end.
FC Goa also had two very good opportunities in the 90th minute and also in the injury time but both went down begging thanks to some good defensive work by East Bengal and the game ended with the Khalid Jamil-coached side from the neighbouring state qualifying for the finals by winning the game 1-0.
In the second semi-final, the other I-League club from Kolkata, Mohun Bagan will meet Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri-led Bengaluru FC tomorrow.