Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club of Bangladesh and former champions Mohammedan Sporting registered contrasting victories on Tuesday to set up the final showdown in the 118th IFA Shield.

Dhanmondi Club outplayed record 28-time winners East Bengal 3-0 to become the second Bangladeshi outfit after Dhaka`s Mohammedan Sporting to make it to the final.

After missing at least half a dozen chances, a profligate Mohammedan Sporting rode on an extra time goal by Penn Orji (94th) to oust defending champions United SC in the second semifinal at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan.

It was a sweet victory for Mohammedan Sporting and their jubilant fans as this was for the first time since 1990 that the five-time winners Mohammedan Sporting made it to the final.

East Bengal had won in 1990 after the match was abandoned with the red and gold brigade leading 1-0.

Mohammedan Sporting last time won the title in 1971 when they had defeated Tollygunge Agragami 2-0.

The Dhanmondi club, who ousted Mohun Bagan to deny a local derby in the semifinals, continued their fine momentum as their foreigner trio of Nigerian Ameka Darlington (22nd), Haitians Sony Norde (37th) and Wedson Anselme (66th) scored a goal each to complete the rout.

United SC will now take on heavyweights East Bengal in the third place play-off on February 13.

Playing in front of a boisterous home support, the red and gold brigade did not have any chance and had more setback in store as they were reduced to 10 players after defender Arnab Mondal was sent off following a double yellow in the fag end of the match.

Going all out for an attack, Wedson`s measured cross was finely utilised by Emeka who headed it home to give Dhanmondi a glorious first-half lead.

Before East Bengal could regroup, Dhanmondi`s last match hero Norde added to the tally with a brilliant surge from the left to put the ball into the far post from an acute angle.

Source: Times of India


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