JCT down Sporting 3-1; TFA hold AI in Durand quarters

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New Delhi, Aug 28 (UNI) Title contenders JCT Mills, Phagwara thrashed Sporting Clube De Goa 3-1 while Tata Football Academy (TFA) held Air India (Mumbai) to a goalless draw in the quarterfinal stage of the 121st Osian's Durand Cup here today.

JCT missed a great chance in the very first minute when Eduardo's well aimed free-kick from the right was headed by Baldeep Singh. The ball rebounded off the underside of the bar and was frantically cleared away by the Sporting defence.

Sporting, however, drew first blood when Lavino Fernandes capitalised on a mistake by JCT goalkeeper Karanjit Singh to slot home from close range.

Stung by the reverse, JCT went all out for the equaliser. Their efforts bore fruit in the 23rd minute when Baljit Sahni latched onto a pass from the left flank before unleashing a powerful shot which bulged the net.

The millmen snatched the lead just five minutes later through a fine move. Eduardo ran down the right flank before passing the ball into the box. An unmarked Pawan Kumar rushed into the box and shot on the run to score.

Freddy Mascarhenas of Sporting Clube missed an easy chance to score the equaliser in the 59th minute. The striker received a pass from Steven Fernandes on the right and managed to beat the goalkeeper but his shot went narrowly wide of the far post.

The Goans produced another fine move just a few minutes later.

From a counter attack, Freddy passed to Micky Fernandes into the six yard area but the tall midfielder was tackled out by the JCT defence.

The Punjab team grabbed their third goal in the 75th minute when Baldeep received a pass Eduardo, dribbled his way into the box and buried the ball into the net.

JCT were on the offensive and Sporting were being pushed onto the backfoot. The Goans could have grabbed their second goal just a couple minutes from the end when Micky Fernandes's dipping shot from 25 yards narrowly missed the target.

Earlier, in the first quarterfinal, a lacklustre Air India failed to get past the inexperienced but talented boys from the TFA.

TFA came up with sveral good moves but their forwards were crowded out by the alert Air India defence.

Air India created more chances than TFA. Their best opportunity came in the substitute Subhas Singh chested down a cross from Soocor Velho and fired a powerful shot on the turn. But the TFA goalkeeper came up with a brilliant diving save.

UNI AB PY AS1931

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