37th Sikkim Gold Cup roundup: Mohun Bagan beat Tibetan NSA, to face ONGC in semis
Mohun Bagan reached the semi-finals of the 37th Sikkim Gold Cup (also known as the Sikkim Governor’s Gold Cup) by defeating Tibetan NSA today thanks to a last-second winner scored by Libyan Midfielder Ansumana Kromah courtesy of an accurate cross by Dipanda Dicka.
The tournament began six days back with Sikkim Himalayan thrashing ARC Shillong 6-1 in the tournament opener to progress to the quarter-finals. The second pre-quarterfinal witnessed an enthralling clash between Sikkim United and Calcutta Customs which the latter won 4-3 on penalties.
The third match was another thriller between Royal Tibetan NSA and CRPF Jalandhar which went to penalties and the former won 6-5. The final pre-quarter final saw Pathachakra FC beating Gokulam FC 1-0 to progress to the quarter-finals. The four pre-quarter final winners would take on the four teams who received a bye to the quarter-finals, namely ONGC, Manang Marshyandi Club, Indian Army, and Mohun Bagan.
The first quarter-final was between Sikkim Himalayan and ONGC which was won by the latter side 5-4 on penalties after the scores were 1-1 at the conclusion of extra-time. The second quarter-final saw Calcutta Customs defeating Manang Marshyandi 1-0. The third quarter-final was held this afternoon between Mohun Bagan and Tibetan NSA.
The eight-time champions had plenty of scoring opportunities from the start of the match with Dicka having a chance to give Mohun Bagan the lead within the first 10 minutes only for his shot to go over the bar. The Cameroonian hit the post during the 28th minute and along with Kromah, kept posing a threat to the Tibetan NSA’s defence.
While Dicka had the scoring opportunities during the first half, Kromah was the striker to look out for during the second half as he kept goalkeeper Tenzin Samdhup busy time and again before tapping Dicka’s cross during the final moments of injury time.
In the semi-finals, Mohun Bagan will be up against two-time champions ONGC which will be held the day after tomorrow. The fourth quarter-final will be held tomorrow between Pathachakra FC and Indian Army with the winner playing Calcutta Customs in the semi-finals.