Siliguri, Sep 27: East Bengal, courtesy Lalrindika Ralte’s goal in the 110th minute of extra time, outlasted the challenge of 10-man Churchill Brothers in the first semi-final of the 34th Federation Football Cup at the Kanchenjungha Stadium here Thursday.
Ralte, who came on as a substitute in the 91st minute, made the difference with a spectacular shot to help East Bengal enter its fourth consecutive final with a 1-0 win.
In the final Sunday, East Bengal will take on the winner of Friday’s second semi-final between Dempo SC and Salgaocar SC.
East Bengal started overtly defensive and stymied the initial exuberance of Churchill Brothers. The Kolkata side reconstructed its attack after the break and played a nice tactical game to ensure the win in the extra time.
Coming in for Harmanjot Khabra in the East Bengal midfield, Ralte fired an angular right-footer that beat the Churchill Brothers custodian Sandip Nandy.
The first and second half remained barren as both sides failed to breach each other’s defence. East Bengal forwards Edeh Chdi, Manandeep Singh and substitute Baljit Singh Sahni could not break the deadlock in normal time.