CFA and Mohun Bagan enter final in Challenge Cup

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Chandigarh, Sep 8 (UNI) Hot favourites Chandigarh Football Academy (CFA) will lock horns with a balanced Mohun Bagan Sail Football Academy of Kolkata in the final of the sixth Administrator's Challenge Cup All-India Football Tournament for Under-17 at the Sector 17 Football Stadium here tomorrow.

CFL prevailed over plucky Indian Football Association (IFA) of Kolkata by 2-0 and Mohun Bagan snuffed out the challenge of St Stephen's School Football Academy of Chandigarh by 3-0 in the semi-finals today.

CFA's first goal came in the 13th minute through a long shot into the box that confused the IFA defenders. CFA's speedy striker Gagandeep Singh darted into the penalty box and headed the ball into the net to give his team the lead. CFA's second goal was scored by Lalnunthlunga' whose 20-yarder strike caught the entire IFA defence napping.

IFA had two golden opportunities to score. Dipankar Sarkar tested the CFA goalkeeper Harpreet Singh. However, Sarkar's shot missed the mark by a narrow margin. Then a move between Dipankar and Siladitya Seth saw CFA goalkeeper Harpreet diving forward to collect the ball before any damage could be done.

Siladitya of IFA and Pankaj Negi of CFA were cautioned in the 37th and 60th minutes, respectively, for rough play.

Earlier, Mohun Bagan Sail Football Academy dished out excellent football as they defeated St Stephen's Football Academy of Chandigarh by 3-0 in the first semi-final. All goals came in the second half.

Adopting a professional approach, Mohun Bagan got more possession of the ball and created many openings with their strikers showing remarkable understanding among themselves. The well-balanced Kolkata team could have won by a bigger margin had their strikers capitalised on all those opportunities which came their way.

After a goalless first session, Mohun Bagan started asserting themselves more and scored three goals without reply and sailed into the final. In the 50th minute, Paresh Sardar launched a move and gave a cross to Amit Kumar whose shot went over the bar.

In the 60th minute, Paresh Sardar sent a measured cross from the right and Pritam Singh converted it with a timely header to give Mohan Bagan the lead. They got their second goal in the 71st minute.

Following a flag kick taken by Parsanjit, Amit Kumar caught the Stephen's defence on the wrong foot.

The third goal was the result of the defensive lapse on the part of Stephen's Academy in the 87th minute. A defence-splitting cross of Ram Mullick caused panic among the Stephen's defence. With goalkeeper beaten, opportunist Pritam Singh guided the ball into the goal from four-yard.

Paresh Sardar of Mohun Bagan was cautioned for unsporting behaviour in the 27th minute while Suraj Singh got yellow card as he induldged in rough play.


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