NFR Sports Club through to last-four stage

GUWAHATI, July 14 – NF Railway Sports Club, the defending champions of the GSA Super Division Football League, kept their cool till the final moments and hammered the final nail in Gauhati Town Club’s coffin to seal a semifinal berth in the Premier Agro Bio-Tech 9th NN Bhattacharya Football Tournament.

It was a thrilling quarterfinal match of the GSA organised tournament at the Nehru Stadium here today with the railwaymen winning 3-2. Till the 90th minute the scoreline was 2-2. But during the added time, lanky defender Dipak Ghatowar, who is also the skipper of the team, headed home firmly to seal the fate of the match in their favour. Anticipating the ball off a flag kick taken by Sibra Narzary, Dipak beat the Town custodian with a sharp header in the 91st minute.

Earlier, hard working and skilful Festos, a foreign recruit, put Town ahead in the 19th minute with a solo effort.

After the breather, Sibra Narzary drew parity in the 51st minute converting a spot kick. Town defender Deepak Varma handled the ball inside the box and a penalty kick was awarded in favour of NF Railway which Sibra did not miss.

Shankar Sil took NFR 2-1 ahead in the 68th minute with a header off a corner kick taken by Sibra. But the sturdy Festos netted Town’s second goal in the 75th minute, again with a solo effort, to level the issue.

However, Town could not guard their fort properly as Dipak found an open goal at the fag end to hit the winning goal.

It was a keenly contested encounter, best so far in this tournament, as both the teams showed tremendous courage and skills throughout the course.

Town had to pay the penalty due to weakness in their midfield and defence. Their attackers – Festos and Jon Nanna – created several openings and came close of scoring. But despite scoring two goals, they had to concede the match due to the spaces left by their defenders in the striking zone.