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Durand Cup: ATK pip Mohammedan Sporting, Mohun Bagan seal semifinal spot

ATK's win on Friday meant that 16-time champions Mohun Bagan sealed a semifinal berth from the group with a match in hand.

By: PTI | Kolkata |
August 16, 2019 10:33:05 pm
Aser Pierrick Dipanda Dicka, Aser Pierrick Dipanda Dicka Mohun Bagan, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Aser Pierrick Dipanda Dicka injury, sports news, football, Indian Express Representational image.

Former Indian Super League champions ATK rode on Hitesh Sharma’s early strike to pip Mohammedan Sporting by a solitary goal in a rain-interrupted 129th Durand Cup at the Saltlake Stadium here on Friday.

The result also meant that 16-time champions Mohun Bagan sealed a semifinal berth from the group with a match in hand.

Mohun Bagan, who lead group B table with six points, face Indian Navy (one point) in their last group fixture on Saturday.

Sharma set the pace with his second-minute goal after the match began half an hour late because of heavy downpour.

Three minutes later, Mohammedan had a chance to equalise but a Vanlalbiaa Chhangte’s shot from Kouassi’s beautiful through ball hit the crossbar.

Credit should also be given to ATK’s goalkeeper Avilash Paul who stood tall under the bar with a couple of fine saves to deny their Kolkata rivals any chance of a comeback.

Mohammedan Sporting got two quick chances in the 47th minute but Paul held steady to clear the first attempt before Prabir Das made a beautiful goalline save.

Mohammedan Sporting squandered a chance to equalise in the 78th minute when Firoj Ali’s powerful shot sailed high over the cross-bar.

This was the two-time ISL champions’ first victory in the tournament, but it came only in their last group B league outing as they bowed with four points from three matches.

Mohammedan Sporting, who had hammered Indian Navy 6-2 six days back, also finished with three points from as many matches.

Earlier, former Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC were leading 1-0 against I-League debutants TRAU FC when the match was called off in the 15th minute because of heavy lightning and thundershowers at the Sailen Manna Stadium in Howrah.

N Joysana Singh gave Chennaiyin FC the lead in the eighth minute after RC Aimol set it up with a measured pass from the right flank.

The group D match will resume from 10am on Saturday.

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