Martin hit a brace for 3 Star while Adelja gave East Bengal the win…
With the Indian Super League opening ceremony in Guwahati just days away, it was yet another day of entertaining football together with music and dance as both the Semi-finals of the Bordoloi Trophy were held yesterday at the city’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Organisers put their best foot forward to attract crowds and bring back the old golden days of the tournament, which used to witness a packed house for each game.
3 Star club of Nepal and United Sikkim FC contested the day’s first game. The Nepali side registered a thumping 4-1 victory over United Sikkim to storm into the Final.
It was indeed a thrilling match as both the teams managed to draw the game 1-1 in regulation time. The visitors then pumped in three back-to-back goals in the second half of extra-time.
It was a barren first half where both teams could not find the goal despite having some genuine opportunities. Sunil Bal from 3 Star almost found a goal in the 8th minute, but his strike was nicely saved by United custodian Bipin Bhatta Rai. A couple of minutes later, 3 Star’s Nigerian striker Kayode Ajai Martin failed to convert after a goalmouth scramble.
After the break the game got its natural pace with the groumd becoming slicker thanks to a light drizzle and the onset of dew.
It was Martin who broke the deadlock for 3 Star in the 67th minute anticipating a pass from Bishnu Mogor.
But, in the 89th minute Sonam Tshering who replaced due the injured Afjal Anjari, gave United Sikkim their much needed equaliser from a perfect ground pass off their No 10 and Skipper MD Lepcha.
As the game reached extra-time following th first half was completely dominated by 3 Star.
In the 95th minute, scorer Martin scored again to complete his double. Bijoy Dhimal in 101st minute put the third goal in for 3 Star and finally in the 115th minute Bijoy Gurung completed the show with a fantastic solo effort from the right flank.
In the second game East Bengal edged past Shillong Lajong 1-0 thanks to a solitary goal from overseas recruit Adelja. In the first half of this closely contested game Adelja netted the match winner in 19th minute.
In the 2nd half Lajong who fielded their academy side in the tournament as their senior team is busy in the Shillong Premier League, tried their best to overpower the East Bengal back four with some eye-catching efforts, but could not find the equaliser.
East Bengal will now meet 3 Star in the showpiece on Friday.
Report by Himangshu Rajkhowa- Khel Now Correspondent from Guwahati.