East Bengal 3-4 Sporting Clube de Goa: The Flaming Oranje go through at the Red and Golds' expense

The Flaming Oranje emerged victorious out of a seven goal thriller booking a semi-final berth as no Kolkata team made it to the semi-finals of the Federation Cup...

Sporting Clube de Goa emerged victorious in a marathon seven goal encounter against East Bengal in the final Group A game of the Federation Cup in Goa, booking a semi-final berth in the process.

Victorino Fernandes netted a hat-trick (1', 68' and 78') while Anthony Wolfe (45+1') also added his name on the  score sheet. Meanwhile, Ranti Martins converted a penalty in the sixth minute while Dudu Omagebami (31') and Shylo Malswamtluanga (36') scored for East Bengal.

Alex Alvarez chose to start with the impressive Victorino Fernandes and Anthony Wolfe upfront with Ogba Kalu operating in the midfield.

Dudu Omagebami returned to face his former team alongside Ranti Martins, with Mohammed Rafique and Shylo Malswamtluanga operating on the wings.

The match began at a frenetic pace as it took only a minute for the Flaming Oranje to take the lead through Victorino who danced past a couple of Red and Gold defenders who were caught sleeping as he was allowed to take three touches in the box before he could place his shot with his right foot, giving Subhasish Roy Chowdhury no chance whatsoever.

Colaco's team replied immediately as Kofi Dankwae pulled down Rafique to the ground. Ranti calmly slotted the ball home from the spot in the sixth minute.

A minute after the hour mark, the Red and Golds turned it around as they stormed into the lead after Shylo's corner could not be effectively cleared by the Sporting defence allowing an agile Dudu to smash it into the net. 

It got even better five minutes later when Dudu turned provider after expertly receiving Ranti's cross field diagonal ball and taking the goal keeper out of play. He then slid the ball with a square pass to Shylo who tapped the ball into the empty net. 

Alvarez's men however, replied almost immediately through Wolfe in added time in the first half. Rowlin Borges' hopeful long punt into the opposition box allowed Wolfe to beat Arnab before he expertly directed his corner past Subhasish who was caught in no man's land.

The second half was equally exciting as Victorino almost added to his tally in the 51st minute but it was a diving Roy Chowdhury that kept the striker's effort out. At the other end, Harmanjot Singh Khabra's drilled cross from the byline was narrowly missed by a diving Dudu.

Victorino missed another chance before the hour mark as he was unmarked inside the box but his shot sailed agonizingly wide of goal. However, he made amends in the 68th minute as he showed poacher's instinct, tucking in the rebound off a corner to complete his brace. It all started after Velito Cruz's corner was met by Kalu whose header was saved by Subhasish but he could only watch as Victorino made it count.

Merely ten minutes later, Victorino completed the fairytale comeback as he popped up in the six yard box unmarked to drive home the winner leaving Subhasish stranded. 

In spite of the late East Bengal pressure, Sporting clube de Goa stood their ground to come out triumphant in the seven goal thriller.

The result knocked East Bengal out of the competition while Sporting Clube de Goa qualified for the semi-finals even if Royal Wahingdoh win against Dempo FC courtesy their win over the Royals earlier in the competition.

Sporting clube de Goa: Ravi, Biswajit, Joyner, Kofi, Rojen, Beeven, Rowlin, Cajetan, Victorino, Kalu, Wolfe 

East Bengal: Subhashish, Abhishek, Arnab, Susak, Khabra, Mehtab, Lobo, Rafique, Shylo, Dudu, Ranti.