Siliguri, 19 February: Sashastra Seema Bal, Ranidanga, powered by a brace each from forwards Ranadip Das and TH Luchoi Singh defeated Royal Football Club of Siliguri 4-2 in the third quarter final of the 9th Sukuna Gold Cup Football Tournament at the Sukna High School Ground in Sukna near Siliguri today.
At the start of the match, Royal was quick to take stock. The Siliguri team looked far more assured and showed greater imagination than the Ranidanga outfit, but much against the run of play Luchoi drew first blood off a through ball in the 16th minute.
Stung by the goal, Royal wasted no time in equalising, and just a minute later, Johnny fired in a brilliant cross from the left.
The SSB team then had the lion’s share of exchanges and soon after missing a golden opportunity, Luchoi increased the margin in the 27th minute. Mid-fielder Ayan Shreshtha of the Royal Football Club equalised in the 71st minute. With both teams becoming defensive, the game seemed to be heading for a tie-breaker. But the SSB striker Ranadip Das came up with two splendid goals to seal the fate of the Siliguri outfit. Ranadip increased the tally in the 87th minute and then another a minute later. However, Johnny, who ably led the Siliguri team, was adjudged Man of the Match.
Tomorrow, defending champions Border Security Force, Jalandhar, will take on last year’s semi-finalist Armed Police Brigade, Siliguri in the third quarter final of the tournament at the same venue. The kick-off is at 3.00 p.m.
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