Robin Singh at the double in Fed Cup
Hero Federation Cup 2017 continued at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Tuesday. Action resumed in Group A as East Bengal took on Chennai City and Churchill Brothers faced Aizawl FC. Tuesday’s first fixture saw the Kolkata giants battle against Chennai with both sides looking for their first win of the tournament after East Bengal played out a 1-1 draw with Churchill in their opening encounter, while Chennai were on the wrong-side of a 3-2 scoreline against Aizawl.
However, it was the Red and Gold Brigade who came out on top thanks to a brace by birthday boy Robin Singh (FC Goa). The India international struck on the stroke of half-time to break the deadlock in what had been a cagey first period. The 27-year-old found himself with acres of space in the box to toe-poke a Willis Plaza pass into an open net and give his side a first-half lead.
The result was put to bed 15 minutes from full-time as Robin scored his second goal of the night. Chennai conceded a penalty after Dharmaraj Ravanan (FC Pune City) was adjudged to have handled a freekick by former Kerala Blasters FC man Cavin Lobo. Robin took charge of the spot-kick, firing into the back of the net to help his side to a 2-0 victory as well as maximum points.
Group A’s other game witnessed Aizawl FC make it two wins from two after a 2-1 victory over Churchill Brothers. Lalramchullova gave the I-League champions the lead in the first-half with a neatly taken penalty. Churchill equalised through a penalty of their own by Ansumana Kromah in the 84th minute. Aizawl though regrouped and found a winner in the 90th minute through Laldanmawia, who got in behind Churchill’s backline on the counter before heading a long diagonal ball into the net.
With the win, group-toppers Aizawl qualify for the semis, while East Bengal are in second spot with four points but not assured of a semis place just yet. Churchill still have an outside chance of making the semis having taken one point from their opening matches. Chennai City, on the other hand, are out of semis contention and languishing at the bottom of the table after two losses. Group A’s final fixtures will see Chennai play Churchill and Aizawl face East Bengal on May 11.