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Dempo hold East Bengal, Army XI draw with JCT in Durand Cup

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Nov 20 (UNI) Ten-man East Bengal survived late onslughts from Dempo Sports Club, Goa, to play out a goalless draw in a Group II quarter-final league tie in the 119th Osian's Durand Cup football tournament here today.

The Kolkata league champions dished out a disappointing show in their tournament opener and were lucky to have come out with even honours in a lacklustre match. In the whole of the match, they created only one opening, that too, after Dipankar Roy was sent off in the very first minute of the second half for a dangerous tackle on Clifford Miranda.

The Goan side took advantage of the numerical superiority and Brazillian Roberto Silva and Nigerian Ranty Martins made some fine moves but failed to convert into goals. East Bengal goalkeeper Rajat Ghosh Dashtadar had a brilliant day under the bar, thwarting several Dempo goal-bound moves.

In the 57th minute, following a Silva and Martin build up, Jerry Zirsanga sent a quick grounder towards the goal but missed Silva's outstretched legs.

Dempo would have found the elusive goal in the 61st minute but for the crosspiece coming in their way. Following a fine cross from the right by Zirsanga, Martin sent a powerful goal-bound header which hit the crossbar and rebound was shot over by Valeriano Rebelo.

East Bengal substitute Vimal Pariyar could have scored in the 68th minute when he pounced on a defensive lapse, got the better of Dempo central defender MetecK Bolaji but failed to beat the advancing goalkeeper who blocked his shot diving to the left.

Three minutes later, a Rebert Silva header connecting a Martin pass was disallowed for offside to the disappointment of the Goans.

Later, in another lacklustre but evenly contested Group two match, defending champions Army XI held JCT, Phagwara, to a goalless draw.

Army XI's ploy to crowd their defence and give little space to rival forwards Chidi Edeh and Parveen Kumar worked well till the end.

JCT's best chance to score was in the 40th minute but Army goalkeeper Robikanta Singh dived full-length to his right to stop a powerful Chidi pile driver from just outside the box.

In the 63rd minute, Army striker Nguernilal's fine free kick was saved by JCT goalie Karanjit Singh.

Parveen failed to capitalised on two half chances towards the close of the match. In the 88th minute, his free header connecting a Daljit Singh flighted ball from the left went straight to the goalkeeper.

In the 90th minute, a Harish Sharma cross form left saw only Parveen in front of the goal but failed to take the shot and wasted the chance.

Tomorrow's match: Sporting Clube de Goa VS Air India 1300 hrs Mohun Bagan VS Mahindra United 1500 hrs UNI PDS DH DB1839

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