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Churchill, Samity reach semifinals

KOLKATA: Defending champion Churchill Brothers downed local challenger Southern Samity by a solitary goal in the concluding round of the group ‘A' league to ensure a semifinal berth in the 115th IFA Shield football at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Friday.

The winning goal for Churchill Brothers came as a last gasp effort in the injury-time of the second half when its Liberian striker Boima Karpeh scored with a long-ranger.

The win helped Churchill Brothers top the group with nine points, which came from three wins and a loss. Despite its loss, Southern Samity ensured the second position in the group standings, netting seven points and progressed to the semifinals.

With each of the two sides eyeing a semifinal berth, the action remained localised in the midfield as neither team preferred to go all out. The goal came off a stray long-range effort, fetching Churchill the top position in the bargain.

East Bengal posts win

In the other match of the same group, which was played later in the evening, former champion East Bengal handed the Chinese visitor Shandong Lueng FC a 3-1 defeat.

The match, rendered inconsequential after the two semifinalists were decided, saw Shandong getting the lead in the 22nd minute through Mi Hao Hun before East Bengal returned with three goals in succession. East Bengal got the goals from Baljit Sahni (40th), Reisangmei Vashum (70th) and Ravinder Singh (90+1). East Bengal finished fourth with four points while Shandong came last with three points.

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