IFA Shield: East Bengal beat United Sports, win title

IFA Shield: East Bengal beat United Sports, win titleKolkata: East Bengal goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh emerged the hero as he brought off valiant saves to enable his side lift the title in the 116th IFA ShieLd football tournament with a 4-2 tri-breaker win over United Sports in a hard fought final here Friday.

Gurpreet thwarted James Singh and Bello Rasaq's spot kicks in the sparsely crowded Salt Lake stadium as East Bengal recorded their 28th win in the tourney.



Tolgay Ozbey, Khanthang Paite, Robin Singh and Subodh Kumar found the target in the penalties that had to be resorted to after the two sides finished goalless in regulation time and the deadlock remained even after 30 minutes of extra time.

On the other hand, Jayanta Sen and Yusif Yakubu converted the spot kicks for United Sports.

The evenly poised game saw very few chances created by the rivals though East Bengal came closest to scoring in the penultimate minute of the second half when Tolgay's header hit the bar after leaving United goalkeeper Avijeet Mondal clueless.

The woodwork again stood in the way of a Tolgay effort in the initial minute of the extra time, much to the dismay of the East Bengal supporters.