East Bengal enters Shield final

updated: February 25, 2007 08:37 IST
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Continuing their winning streak, a resurgent East Bengal moved into the final of the IFA Shield Football Tournament, edging past arch-rivals Mohun Bagan 2-1 in an exhilarating semi-final exchange here today. Jo Paul Ancheri struck both the goals for East Bengal to propel his side to a summit clash against Brazilian professional club Palmeiras tomorrow. Jose Ramirez Barreto was the scorer for the losers. The 70,000 spectators at the Salt Lake stadium had their money's worth, relishing every minute of the fast-paced attacking encounter, the 250th between the city giants. East Bengal, who dominated the proceedings in the opening half, went ahead in the 23rd minute as Ancheri latched on to a Dipankar Roy pass and placed home from an acute angle to the left of Bagan goalkeeper Bivas Ghosh. Bagan showed greater zeal in the second half, but time and again failed to pierce the rocklike East Bengal defence. The green and maroon brigade finally got the breakthrough in the 75th minute when a Renedy Singh flag kick was fisted by East Bengal custodian Hemanta Dora. The ball flew only as far as Barreto standing close by and the Brazilian headed in. But Ancheri scored a beauty of a goal only five minutes later to seal the fate of the match. Following a Musah throw, Omoloja Olalekan brought the ball down, and Ancheri let loose a powerful left footer with a quick turn to hit the mark. The match witnessed frayed tempers towards the close and Barreto and East Bengal substitute linkman Chandan Das were marched out by referee S M Balu in the 86th minute for engaging in off-the-ball scuffles. (PTI)