Cuttack/Panaji/Ludhiana, Sept 26, 2010 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS): East Bengal, playing like champions for defending the title, cruised into the semifinals to face Churchill Brothers after they edged past Pune FC 1-0 and topped the Group A rankings in the Federation Cup quarter finals at Barabati Stadium on Saturday.
Goa giants Churchill Brothers made their way into the last four of the 32nd edition pipping Kolkata’s Chirag United on better goal difference. In the deciding match at Tilak Maidan in Vasco, both the teams played out a goalless draw, which helped former I-L champions Churchill Brothers to emerge topper in the Group B.
Now Kolkata giants East Bengal and CB will now lock their horns in the 1st semi-finals play on September 29 at the Barabati Stadium.
The Red and Gold’s foreign recruit Penn Orji, who has been in consistent form, struck the winner in the 67th minute to lead his side to the last four.
James Trevor Morgan, who actually transformed the Kolkata giants, congratulated his his boys for winning all games wins with nine points to lead group, which has HAL, Bangalore, and Air India. The last two, already out of contest, were playing their last match later on Saturday.
East Bengal are only team in the contest have an all-win record among the four groups, each consisting of four teams.
A Ludhiana report said I-L champions Dempo SC in Group C also stormed into the last four after playing out a goalless draw with JCT in their last and final league match held at the Guru Nanak Stadium.
Earlier, riding high on Kailash Patil’s brace ONGC edged past AIFF XI 2-1 to finish second in the group. Jeje Lal Pekhlua was the lone goal scorer for AIFF XI.
The fourth semifinalist will be decided when Mohun Bagan and Salgaocar SC play at Barabati stadium in the Group D on Sunday. Mohun Bagan were held 2-2 by Mumbai FC on Friday to lengthen the agony of the other Kolkata giants.