Chandigarh, Kolkata teams to clash in semis of Challenge Cup

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Chandigarh, Sep 7 (UNI) It will be virtually, Chandigarh versus Kolkata in the semi-finals of the sixth Administrator's Challenge Cup All-India Football Tournament for Under-17 being conducted by the Chandigarh Sports Department here tomorrow.

Local teams -- hosts Chandigarh Football Academy, a venture of the Chandigarh Administration and St Stephen's School Football Academy of Sector 45 along with Kolkata's Mohun Bagan Sail Football Academy and Indian Football Association qualified for the semi-finals today.

Group B leaders Mohun Bagan will face group C winners St Stephen's Football Academy while group A champions Chandigarh Football Academy will fchallenge Group D winners Indian Football Association. Both semi-finals will be played at the Sector 17 Football Stadium.

Trailing by one goal, Indian Football Association rallied to overcome a stiff resistance from fancied Mahilpur Football Academy of Punjab by 2-1.

It was Mahilpur Football Academy which scored the first goal in the 27th minute. Rajbir Singh (Junior) scored with a perfect volley after getting a cross from the right flank. The MF Academy kept the lead intact in the first half.

On crossing over, Indian Football Association modified their game plan and with proper understanding among their strikers, the Kolkata team neutralised the lead in the 48th minute when Deepankar Sarkar found the object with a nicely executed header, after receiving a floater from the left flank.

After that both teams waged a do-or-die battle. Prabhakar Naskar snatched the winner for IFA with a sizzling 20-yard right footer which brooked no denial. Rajbir Singh (Junior) as well as Rajbir (Senior) were shown yellow cards for rough play in the 15th and 30th minutes, respectively.

Formidable Mohun Bagan had a smooth sailing in their last group B encounter as they scored at will against Cantonment Senior Secondary School Board of Jalandhar. In a one-sided encounter, the Kolkata outfit rained 10 goals without reply.

Mohun Bagan virtually fought the battled inside the rival territory. Pritam Singh and Amit Kumar Singh were their star strikers. They scored three goals each.

Pritam found the target in the fith, 8th and 43rd minutes. Amit Kumar Singh netted in the 28th, 34th and 59th minutes. Gaiham Rongmei contributed two goals in the seventh and 86th minutes. Avik Guha (22nd) and Mahendrajit (67th) scored one goal each to complete the Jalandhar team's thrashing.

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