Army XI down ND Heroes 2-1 to enter Durand quarters

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New Delhi, Aug 26 (UNI) In a hard-fought encounter, a gritty Army XI pipped New Delhi Heroes 2-1 to enter the quarterfinals of the 121st Osian's Durand Cup here today.

The Armymen will now meet formidable Mahindra United in their next encounter.

The first half of the match was a drab affair and was dominated by the New Delhi Heroes, who went ahead in the 36th minute through Manish Khatri, who scored with a brilliant header on the run.

However, the match came alive in the second half as the Army XI desperately tried to make a come back.

The Delhi team missed a great chance to double the lead when Prashant Jaggi fired in from a close range to which the Army goalkeeper, Robikanta Singh, produced a brilliant save.

The Army XI restored parity in the 66th minute when Gordon scored with a beautiful curling free kick.

A couple of minutes later, Thirunavakarafu of Army had a brilliant solo run-in from the midfield but he failed to beat Stanley at the heart of the Delhi defence.

The Armymen were trying to up the ante, with Ngurneilal firing a bullet like shot from the top of the box which was blocked by the goal keeper.

The Army got the second goal through a fine move. Thiru dribbled past a couple of defenders and passed to Ramachandran, who neatly placed in at the far post.

The ND Heroes piled on the pressure towards the end, in search of the elusive equaliser but the Armymen held on to bag the full three points.

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