ONGC did their part perfectly by beating Sporting Club de Goa in their final league encounter on Tuesday, but unfortunately that wasn't good enough for the Mumbai-outfit to progress to the semifinals of the 34th Federation Cup in Siliguri. With both teams looking for a victory to keep their chances alive, ONGC triumphed 2-1 at the SSB ground. But they required East Bengal to lose their final encounter to fellow-Kolkata outfit Kalighat Milan Sangha. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be as last year's runners-up registered a thrilling 4-3 win to set up a semi-final clash against Churchill Brothers.
In a match full of drama at the Kanchenjungha Stadium, East Bengal trailed twice to be 0-2 and 2-3 against the qualifiers Kalighat MS, but Edeh Chidi and youngster Manandeep Singh rose to the occasion with a brace each.
Playing without their star central defender Uga Okpara, East Bengal conceded early goals as James Giblee (11th) and Tanmoy Kundu scored in a space of five minutes.East Bengal, however, kept attacking and got their first goal in the 30th minute when former Air-India striker Manandeep Singh, scored from an Orji Penn cross.
Manandeep was once again in his elements to bring on the 2-2 equaliser when he scored this time from a Chidi cross. But their joy was short-lived as Nigerian Christopher Chizoba helped Kalighat restore the lead in the 40th minute.
There was more drama in store as East Bengal made it 3-3 at the interval after Chidi was fouled inside the KMS box. The Nigerian converted the spot kick to add more spice as the match poised for an entertaining second-half.
In an action replay, Chidi was again fouled inside KMS box and the result was no different as he fired in the winner from the spot, for a superb East Bengal turnaround.
Sporting Clube found the going tough against ONGC from the very start as Tarif Ahmed and Lalmuanpuia scored fine goals. The Goan team scored their solitary goal through Dawson Fernandes.
East Bengal finished with seven points to top the group C table, while ONGC (six) and Sporting Clube (four) finished second and third respectively.I-League champions Dempo will take on defending champs Salgaocar in the other semi.