New Delhi [India]: Mangala Club entered the semi-finals of the ongoing Futsal Club Championship after defeating Classic Football Academy 6-4 in the final match of the group stage on Wednesday.
Coming into the tie, Classic Football Academy needed only one point to top the group, whereas Mangala needed an out-and-out win to make it to the final four. Classic Football Academy had a blistering start to the match, having scored two quickfire goals within the first 10 minutes through Ganningam Malangmei. He completed his hat-trick within minutes, but the Odisha outfit breached the Manipuri defence twice in between.
Bapuni Bindhani and Babul Kumar Rout were on the scoresheet for Mangala FC to leave the fate of the match hanging on tenterhooks at the halfway mark. Classic Football Academy was leading the tie 3-2 at the lemon break.
Mangala came out with renewed vigour and finesse as Babul completed his brace seconds within the resumption and brought his side at par with Classic Football Academy.
Chungkham put Classic Football Academy back on track once again before leaking back-to-back goals, as Mangala skipper Dinanbandhu Das netted the goals. Mangala was awarded a penalty as Classic goalkeeper Charan Singh was adjudged to have committed a foul inside the area. Dinabandhu duly converted the penalty to put Mangala in the driver’s seat with seven minutes to go.
Mangala was mounting the pressure on their opposition and Samson fouled Bapuni closer to the half-line in the 35th minute. Samson got the marching orders and Mangala earned a 10-meter kick, only to see Dinabandhu miss the target.
Classic Football Academy was trying tooth and nail to find the elusive equaliser but, in the process, Mangala had the last laugh three and half minutes to the final whistle. Dinabandhu, Babul and Bapuni were on the move in a swift counter-attack against only one defender. Dinabandhu rolled it to Babul and the number 9 made no mistake to double their lead, thus securing the points and a semi-final spot for Mangala Club.
Mangala Club will now be facing Delhi FC in the second semi-final on Friday.