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Mohun Bagan in semifinals

Principal Correspondent

KOLKATA: Mohun Bagan played out a 1-1 draw, against local opponent Chirag United SC in the penultimate group ‘B' league encounter, to ensure a semifinal berth in the 115th IFA Shield football at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Thursday.

Mohun Bagan took the lead early in the first half off an own goal from United SC defender Narugopal Hait. United SC levelled the scores midway through the second session when it South Korean midfielder Chio Young II found the target off a penalty.

Mohun Bagan tallied eight points from two wins and two draws to remain on top of the group league standings while Pune FC was second with six points from three outings. The final group position will be decided on Saturday when Pune FC plays Shillong Lajong FC (on five points) in the final group league encounter. Two other teams in the group — United SC (4 points) and Aryan Club (1 point) — are already out of contention.

United SC was pinned to defending for the greater part of the first session when Bagan got numerous opportunities but its attack failed to finish the chances. The goal came in the 11th minute when Hait, trying to reach a cross-centre from Bagan forward Ashim Biswas, miscued the attempted clearance into his own goal.

United SC pressed for the equaliser after the break and after couple of failed attempts, got the opportunity off a penalty awarded in the 61st minute. Choi found the target from the spot to help his team get back into the action.

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