Churchill, Gorkha XI crash out of Durand Cup

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New Delhi, Nov 12 (UNI) Army Green shocked Churchill Brothers 5-4 via penalty shootout while Assam Rifles struck twice late in the second session to beat Gorkha Rifles XI 2-0 in the Group I qualifying round ties of the 119th Osian's Durand Cup football tournament here today.

Assam Rifles and Army Green will now play on Tuesday to decide who goes to the pre-quarterfinal league phase of the competition from Group 1 and joins Mohammedan Sporting and Air India.

Army Green surprised everybody to level 1-1 in the regulation time against their more fancied rivals from Goa and hold on to their nerves to come out victorious in the tie-breaker in the New Wellingdon Camp grounds here.

Churchill, who were promoted to NFL first division this year by virtue of finishing runners-up in NFL second division, failed to reproduce their impressive form in their 4-0 victory over MEG Bangalore on Friday.

Even though they dominated the first session, the Goan side had to wait till the 68th minute to take the lead through Drupesh Desai.

Just as Desai's strike looked enough for Churchill to romp home, B Aji equalised four minutes before whistle (86 minute) and the match was extended to extra time which also failed to break the deadlock.

In the shootout, Ramesh Singh, Ashok Lipcha, Manju Nath and B Aji scored for Army Green while Naveen Kumar missed the target.

For Churchill, Villoy D'Cruz, Vinay Singh and D Raju found the target while Chandam Singh and Nicholas Muyoti failed to score.

In the other match, Ajit Singh and Abel Sema scored in the 70th and 76th minutes for Assam Rifles.

The match was evenly contested, but Assam Rifles utilised the chances that came their way while Gorkha XI wasted a few sitters.

Tomorrow's fixture: Salgaocar VS SBT, Travancore 1300 hrs Corps of Signals, Goa VS BSF 1500 hrs UNI PDS BS1931

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