Santosh Trophy: West Bengal to Meet Railways in Final

Guwahati, May 28 (IANS): West Bengal edged past Railways by a solitary goal to set-up a final clash with Manipur in the Santosh Trophy national football championship.

In the first semifinal at the Nehru Stadium here Saturday, Thoiba Singh's penalty strike in the 11th minute of the second half of the extra time helped Manipur beat Services.

Former champions Manipur and Services failed to break the jinx in the regulation time.

In the second semifinal, Bengal came all guns blazing and took the control of the match right from the outset.

Budhiram Tudu and Branco Cardozo combined well upfront with the former scoring the winner for the Shabbir Ali-coached side.

Railways, who grabbed all the attention with a perfect record till the quarterfinal failed to find their foot and had their back against the wall throughout the match.

Bengal started on an aggressive note and made numerous inroads in their opponent citadel and their hard work was paid off when Tudu's shot from the top of the 18 yard box in the 38th minute found the back of the net. Snehasish Dutta essayed a pass to the former East Bengal striker to do the rest.

Railways goalkeeper, Satish Kumar was put to test on numerous occasions by the East Bengal's strikers and midfielders, while the back four too had a tough day at the office.

After the lemon break, Railways did show some urgency to level the terms but lacked the finishing. Bengal held to their one goal advantage and deservedly came out winners.

In the first semifinal, Manipur dictated the terms right from the outset and could have taken the lead at the stroke of half time, but Tikem Singh failed to convert two easy chances.

Manipur continued to pile on the pressure and came close to break the deadlock on couples of occasions in the second session as well. An alert Services goalkeeper, Robikanta Singh kept them at bay.

The scoreline read 0-0 after the end of 90 minutes. Manipur again missed before Thoiba converted from the spot. Services defender P.Sumesh was caught handling the ball inside the box resulting in a penalty in favour of the Manipur.


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Title: Santosh Trophy: West Bengal to Meet Railways in Final

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