East Bengal in IFA Shield semis

Kolkata: Former champions East Bengal stormed into the semi-finals of the 116th IFA Shield with an impressive 3-0 win over Shillong Lajong FC at the Yuba Bharati Kriranga here on Saturday.

In another group league match, Brazilian outfit Botafogo FR scored a 1-0 victory over a 10-man United Kerala at the Howrah Stadium.

A record 27 time winners East Bengal looked dominating from the beginning with Tolgay Ozbey giving an 18th minute lead.

The Australian recruit utilised a forward pass from Orji Penn as he beat Lajong defenders with his speed before a brilliant right foot finish.

Man of the match, Gurwinder Singh made it 2-0 from a Paite corner in the 75th minute, while in the 91st minute Robin Singh completed the rout with a left-footed shot as everything seemed perfect for the home giants.

East Bengal topped the group A league to make the last four and will take on the qualifiers from group C where it is a two-way race between Pune FC and AIFF side Pailan Arrows.

In the group B fixture, Alvez Oliviera struck in the dying minutes from a Joao Marcos pass to earn the crucial three points in their maiden outing here.

United Kerala were down to 10 players in the 61st minute after Veeneth got his second booking.