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Reagan stars in ICF's win

Sports Reporter

— PHOTO: M. VEDHAN

HERO:Reagan, who slotted home all of ICF's three goals, leaves Mohun Bagan Academy's David in his wake during one of his runs.

Chennai: A hat-trick from Reagan gave Integral Coach Factory a 3-0 win over Mohun Bagan Academy in the VP Sathyan Memorial all-India football tournament here on Tuesday. The striker moved from Arrows FC to ICF at the end of the 2010 CFA senior division season.

For much of the first half, ICF struggled to weather Mohun Bagan's fluid, pacy attacks that had everything except a clinical final touch.

Midfielder Dina side-footed wide after a splendid cross from right-winger Mahendrajit Singh; striker Puia shot one straight at 'keeper V.P. Sathish after a one-two with Boris Singh. ICF opened the scoring in the 38th minute Reagan broke free of his marker with a powerful turn and then cut inside another defender before lashing home left-footed.

The second half saw Bagan lose its attacking coherence, its fluid interplay of the first half giving way to hopeful long balls into the channels. ICF steadily grew in stature, and scored its second in the 76th minute, thanks to Reagan's clever off-the-ball movement.

Midfielder Auxiano drilled a pass down the middle to Ashok, who had his back to goal. Spotting Reagan running diagonally into space, the burly striker laid it off first-time. With only the keeper to beat, Reagan placed it calmly into the bottom-right corner. He completed his hat-trick in the 85th minute, latching on to a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area, letting it bounce before volleying it into the bottom corner.

The second match of the day saw Andhra XI score twice in the dying minutes to script a 2-1 comeback win over Viva Kerala and book a semifinal berth. The defeat left Viva with just one point from two games, needing a win against Mohun Bagan Academy on Thursday to have any chance of reaching the last four.Viva took the lead in the 53rd minute through striker C.S. Sabeeth, who scored after a brilliant left-wing burst and pullback from Mohammad Shafi.

It took until the 86th minute for Andhra to claim an equaliser, which came about after it won an indirect free kick on the edge of the Viva penalty area. Alfred Tennyson laid the ball off to B.V. Vimal, who slammed it into the far corner, giving ‘keeper Shahinlal Meloly no chance. Three minutes later, Andhra took the lead, hitting Viva on the counter. Defender Rock Xavier launched the ball over the top for striker Mohammad Mouzam to chase. Mouzam accelerated beyond the Viva defence, and lobbed the ball first-time over the onrushing Shahinlal, taking his tally to three goals.

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