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Bengal eye final berth for record 31st time

By Sports reporter

GUWAHATI, May 26 � Record 30-time title holder Bengal will take on former champions Indian Railways in the second semifinal of the 65th Senior Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy here at the Nehru Stadium under lights tomorrow.

Bengal which finished second in their quarterfinal group are favourite to win the match as they have some skilful players like Chirag United striker Branco Vincient and Budiram Tudu in the upfront who have the capacity to break the opponent defence with their individual brilliance. Their coach, Shabbir Ali, is also quite confident of winning tomorrow�s match, but warned his players not to be complacent.

Ali, a former India captain, is happy that the 2-1 defeat to Tamil Nadu came early in the quarterfinal league itself and after that his players have became more careful.

�The match has been a sort of wake-up call for us. We did experiment a bit in the match but I will have to admit we were nowhere near our best,� he said.

On the other hand Railway will be a tough nut to crack as they won all the three matches in the quarterfinal league and their morale is high in this championship.

Their strikers � Riju and Satish � have been impressive throughout the tournament.

Railways defenders Akhil Rajbongshi, VP Satish Kumar are also in good form in this meet and they will be a big hurdle for the Bengal frontliners to cruise through.

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Bengal eye final berth for record 31st time

GUWAHATI, May 26 � Record 30-time title holder Bengal will take on former champions Indian Railways in the second semifinal of the 65th Senior Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy here at the Nehru Stadium under lights tomorrow.

Bengal which finished second in their quarterfinal group are favourite to win the match as they have some skilful players like Chirag United striker Branco Vincient and Budiram Tudu in the upfront who have the capacity to break the opponent defence with their individual brilliance. Their coach, Shabbir Ali, is also quite confident of winning tomorrow�s match, but warned his players not to be complacent.

Ali, a former India captain, is happy that the 2-1 defeat to Tamil Nadu came early in the quarterfinal league itself and after that his players have became more careful.

�The match has been a sort of wake-up call for us. We did experiment a bit in the match but I will have to admit we were nowhere near our best,� he said.

On the other hand Railway will be a tough nut to crack as they won all the three matches in the quarterfinal league and their morale is high in this championship.

Their strikers � Riju and Satish � have been impressive throughout the tournament.

Railways defenders Akhil Rajbongshi, VP Satish Kumar are also in good form in this meet and they will be a big hurdle for the Bengal frontliners to cruise through.