GUWAHATI, Jan 7 � In the thrilling second semifinal of the 62nd Bharat Ratna Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Trophy Football Tournament, Bhawanipore Football Club of Kolkata outshot Shillong Lajong FC by an aggregate of 6-4 goals and set-up the summit clash with Aizawl FC.
It was an entertaining encounter at the Nehru Stadium here today as trailing 1-3 till the 75th minute, the spirited Shillong team, comprising mostly of U-19 players, put up a tremendous fight and drew parity in the 85th minute.
However, they failed to keep their nerves in the penalty shoot out and missed three shots.
Lajong went 1-0 ahead in the 15th minute when Th Bipin Singh�s shot from the left flank was deflected into his own goal by Bhawanipore defender Naushad K.
But the experienced Bhawanipore attackers � Brazilian Joshe Ramires Bareto and Nigerian Bidemi Ayeni Danial � put their team ahead within nine minutes. Bareto levelled the issue in the 21st minute off a set piece and after three minutes Daniel gave his team a 2-1 lead with a solo effort. In the 65th minute, Daniel enhanced the margin to 3-1 capitalising on a pass from his Brazilian teammate.
After taking a commendable 3-1 lead, the Bhawanipore officials decided to withdraw Bareto and the Lajong players took the opportunity to hit back with a series of attacks. The Kolkata defenders failed to counter the fast moving Shillong frontliners and were forced to left enough space in the striking zone.
Shaibor Kharpan made it 3-2 with a suddenly taken long ranger which Bhawanipore custodian Debajit Majumdar could not read. Finally, Bipin scored the equaliser in the 85th minute with a beautiful volley anticipating a floater sent by Rupert Nongrum from the right flank.
In the extra 30 minutes also no team could break the deadlock.
Lajong attackers Bipin and Shaibor put the Bhawanipur defenders in trouble throughout the course with their speed and dribbling. They got adequate support from Rakesh Pradhan from the mid field.
But the Kolkata goalkeeper Debajit Majumder did a splendid job under the bar and saved his team on several occasions.
For Bhawanipore, apart from Bareto and Daniel, Manjit Singh and Dipendu Dwary tried heart out for breaking into the Lajong goal area. Their defender Sourav Chakraborty also helped his attackers making frequent overlapping.
In the tie-breaker, Anubrata Maity, Dipendu Dwary and Manjit Singh converted from the spot while Francis Xavier�s shot was saved. But for Lajong, only Bipin Singh could hit the back of the net while Nim Dorjee Tamang, Rakesh Pradhan and Redeem Tiang were not on target.
Bhawanipore need not go for the fifth shot.
Shillong Lajong FC fielded their U-19 team as several players of their main team are in the injury list. The I-League team will resume their engagements later this month and did not want to take any risks with the senior players, informed a team official. Lajong is at present at the fourth position in the 13-team I League.
The final will be played between Bhawanipore FC and Aizawl FC on January 9.