Federation Cup final: Bengaluru FC to face Dempo SC

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Vasco/Margao(Goa), Jan 9: Dempo SC rode on Australian striker Tolgay Ozbey's brace to prevail over local rivals Salgaocar FC 2-0 and march into the Federation Cup football tournament final Friday for a title contest with Bengaluru FC.

In the semi-final, Bengaluru FC blanked Sporting Clube de Goa 3-0 at Vasco, courtesy goals from Australian Sean Rooney, Indian skipper Sunil Chetri and midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh. The final will be played Sunday (January 11).

Sporting Club de Goa and Bengaluru FC players in action in the semi-finals

In the first pre-summit clash at Margao, Ozbey scored in both halves, with his first coming from a deflection and the second of a spot-kick. Salgaocar got their best chance in the second half through Ivory Coast striker Douhou Pierre but the former Pune FC man failed to score.

Salgaocar missed their injured Scottish striker Darryl Duffy. His replacement Brian Mascarenhas found the shoe too big to fill. Ozbey opened the scoring in the 12th minute by deflecting a Francis Fernandez shot into the net.

The change of ends did not bring a change in fortunes as Dempo continued their dominance and doubled their lead in the 58th minute.

Ozbey, who was brought down by an onrushing Salgaocar custodian Subrata Paul after menacingly rushing into the box, stepped up to take the spot-kick and converted it calmly.

Salgaocar's intent of getting back into the match was evident, but they failed to construct enough quality attempts to threaten Dempo.

They were vulnerable at the back and an alert Paul saved them from further agony.

Bengaluru open scoring in 20th minute

In the second semi-final, Sporting came close to opening the account in the 20th minute when Trinidadian striker Anthony Wolfe's shot was cleared off the line.

Minutes later, however, Bengaluru surged into the lead as Chhetri fed a delightful ball to an over-lapping Keegan Pereira, whose inch perfect pass found Rooney inside the box and he merrily tapped home.

Ten minutes after the first, Benguluru went up 2-0. Rooney played the ball back to Chhetri just outside the box, and the striker rocketed inside and unleashed a screamer which found the net after coming off goalie Ravi Kumar's fingertips.

Benguluru were resilient thereafter as Sporting found it extremely hard to breach their defences and counter their attacks, as they speared forward at the slightest opportunity.

Bengaluru eventually found the net once again in the 87th minute when Robin Singh, after being picked out on the left wing by Englishman Josh Walker, unselfishly set up Lyngdoh who calmly finished past the Sporting keeper.

IANS

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