Durand Cup: Greg Stewart hat-trick takes Mumbai City to semis after eight-goal thriller | Football News

KOLKATA: Scottish striker Greg Stewart scored a brilliant hat-trick as Bombay City F.C. prevailed over Chennaiyin FC 5-3 in overtime in a thrilling quarter-final to advance to the semi-finals of the Durand Cup football tournament on Sunday.
Stewart scored in the 40th, 100th and 118th minutes while Lallianzuala Changte scored a brace in the 78th and 94th minute for the Mumbai side at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan.
Croatian striker Petar Sliskovic (59th), Jockson Dhas (89th) and Rahim Ali (112th) scored for Chennaiyin. The Islanders will face Mohammedan Sporting in the first semi-final at the same venue on Wednesday.
Chennaiyin’s Ghana striker Kwame Karikari was injured and had to be substituted for Rahim Ali in the 19th minute of the game.
The first goal of the match came from a penalty awarded to Mumbai when Ahmed Jahouh played Amay Ranawade inside the box and goalkeeper Debjit knocked him down. Stewart took the kick and even though Debjit guessed right and got his hands on it, he couldn’t stop the ball from going into the back of the net.
Chennaiyin blunderer Tomas Brdaric came on for Ninthoi in place of Edwin Vanspaul at the break and it proved to be an inspired replacement.
The first goal came just before the hour mark. Ninthoi got the assist with a wonderful smooth ball played inside the box anticipating Sliskovic’s run. The Croatian edged past Rostyn Griffiths and headed a powerful header past a diving Lachenpa at the near post.
Mumbai coach Des Buckingham made his debut by bringing in Mourtada Fall for the first time this season and Gurkirat in place of Mehtab and Rippol. Brdaric also replaced Aakash Sangwan with Sajid Dhot.
Mumbai probably thought they had the winner thanks to a masterclass from Stewart midway through Chennaiyin in the 78th minute. He walked around before running towards the box drawing defenders towards him and then releasing Bipin Singh down the left.
Bipin’s cross was pushed back by Debjit but only until a hidden Chhangte came to the far post. The tournament’s top scorer so far made no mistake about it, netting his sixth of the tournament with ease.
Brdaric then made another substitution which again paid off as he brought in Jockson Dhas for Sajal Bag.
One minute from regulation time, Ninthoi, who was busy on the right flank, delivered another inviting float inside the box. Fall was the first to meet him, but his clear header only went to Jockson who was hiding at the far post. The substitute torsoed him and unleashed a powerful right-footed volley that bulged into the back of the net.
Stewart and Ninthoi also got chances for themselves in stoppage time, but regulation time ended 2-2.
Chhangte was in on the action again in the fourth minute of the first half of extra time. Stewart fired the free-kick after a foul on Gurkirat and the latter’s header found its way to Mourtada Fall at the far post. He resumed his volley towards the center of the six-yard box and Chhangte was in the right unmarked spot to pass Debjit. It was his seventh Durand Cup goal.
Stewart scored his second goal of the game and his fifth of the tournament in the 100th minute. He went on one of his solo square runs inside the box and faked two shot attempts before letting go with his left in the third, to beat Debjit comprehensively.
If Mumbai thought the game had been put to rest, they would be surprised. CFC were awarded a corner in the second half of extra time and Thapa delivered the ball assured. After a few touches the ball fell to Duker who fired a shot but smartly passed to Rahim on his left. The Indian striker bulged the net with a thunderclap.
As the CFC furiously chased the game, it was Stewart who ultimately closed the deal for the Islanders. On a block, Chhangte found Stewart’s run and made him play. The Scotsman, with a marker on his shoulder, swung wide and placed with his favorite left foot in front of a diving Debjit to complete a well-deserved hat-trick and his sixth in the Durand Cup.

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