Jamshedpur, Sep 23: Dempo booked their ticket for the semi-finals of the Federation Cup after trouncing Mumbai FC 4-0 in the third round Group A match at Keenan Stadium here Sunday.
A hat-trick from Koko Sakibo and another goal from Clifford Miranda ensured the five-time National League champions a place in the last four of the second most important tournament of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) calendar.
While Miranda – who has scored in every match so far – dodged the defender to glory after receiving a right to left pass from Koko inside the dreaded area, the latter drilled the ball past an ailing Sharath K. for his first.
Koko’s two similar goals late in the second period put the match beyond any doubt. The win enabled everyone to forget Ryuji Sueoka’s miss from the spot when the match was just two minutes old.
Dempo finish top of the table with seven points from three matches while Lajong remain on three from that many matches.
Meanwhile, Pailan Arrows bowed out like a performer does after exhibiting a wonderful performance.
Arrows finished their third round Group A engagements just behind qualifiers Dempo with five points from three matches.
In their last encounter, they got the better of Shillong Lajong 2-1. Goals from Holicharan Narzary and Prabir Das sealed the win for Arrows. Ebi Sukore netted the only goal for Lajong.
Narzary scored off a rebound in the 17th minute after Tirthankar Sarkar’s effort was fisted away by Lajong custodian Kirang Krishnan only for the Arrows No.11 to nod the ball into the back of the net.
But Arrows’ joy was cut short a few minutes later when Lajong striker Ebi Sukore scored one of the easiest goals you will see to equalise in the 21st minute. But it was Arrows’ brilliant attacking display in the second half that earned them the all important winner in the 69th minute through Prabir Das.
Arrows showed their intent from the first whistle. Avinabo Bag tried his luck from 25 yards out, and his effort in the opening seconds of the match was inches over the bar.
After conceding the goal, Arrows remained extra cautious playing with renewed verve and grit. A testimony to this is Ravi Kumar’s confident save in the 40th claim of a powerful Sukore strike.
Post the breather, Arrows looked much more threatening in the final third.
With Alwyn now in the picture, Arrows caused a lot of trouble for the Lajong back four. Their attacks stemmed from the flanks and in the 67th minute Prabir Das met one such floater from the left wing to give Arrows the much needed advantage.
Results: Pailan Arrows 2 (Holicharan Narzary, Prabir Das) beat Shillong Lajong 1 (Ebi Sukore), Dempo 4 (Clifford Miranda, Koko Sakibo 3) beat Mumbai FC 0.