23nd March, 2011 – East Bengal crash out, Churchill Brothers in semi-final

East Bengal, the most successful club in IFA Shield crashed out unceremoniously from the Shield after a 1-0 loss to Churchill Brothers. Bineesh Balan scored Churchill’s lone goal a spot kick. East Bengal, fielding a largely reserve team in Shield failed to improve on their performances of last two matches.

22nd March, 2011 – Southern Samity reach their first ever Shield semi-final.

Southern Samity from South Kolkata, playing in lower divisions even three seasons ago, reached the IFA Shield semi-final after a 1-1 draw with Mohammedan Sporting. This is the first time Southern has qualified for Shield final in their history. Christopher scored for MSC while Jamir Ali Mandal, who has been impressive so far, scored for SS. Southern’s semi-final birth also means that only one among former winners East Bengal, Mohammedan and Churchill Brothers can now qualify for last-4.

21st March, 2011 – Spectacular Chidi Takes Mohun Bagan Through To SF

Chidi Edeh struck twice in the first half to sink Pune FC 2-0 and confirmed a Semi Final berth for the Mariers. Mohun Bagan got the lead in the 16th minute when Chidi converted a free kick from 25 yards out. The second goal came at the stroke of the half time and it was a brilliant individual goal as the striker dodged past his marker before rounding off PFC goalie, Balaji, who was playing as a replacement for Indian international Subrata Pal busy in the AFC Challenge Cup to complete his brace. Bagan could have scored more goals in the second period, but a lack of finishing combined with spirited goalkeeping by Balaji meant that they had to be content with the 2-0 score-line.

20th March, 2010 – Mohammedan Holds Lacklustre East Bengal For A Draw:

East Bengal’s barren run in the Shield continues as they were held to a 1-1 draw by the underdogs Mohammedan Sporting in their 2nd group league match. Mohammedan took the lead in the 26th minute when Gurwinder fouled Suraj Mondal inside the box and Christopher converted the resulting penalty. East Bengal chased the game till the 86th minute when Baljit got his header on target from Sanju Pradhan’s corner kick to restore parity for the Red-&-Golds.

20th March, 2010 – Shandong Sink Churchill Brothers 2-0

Chinese club side Shandong Lueng FC registered their first win of the campaign when they got the better of Churchill Brothers with a 2-0 win. The Chinese team struck in quick succession in the first half and Churchill had to chase the game from the very beginning. Mi Hao Lung scored the first goal from the spot in the 22nd minute and a couple of minutes later Cheng Wean made it 2-0 for the visiting side. Shandong got an opportunity to go 3-0 up in the 82nd minute when Churchill goalie Vinay Singh brought down Li How inside the area, but the goalie made amends with a superb save. The match ended 2-0 in Shandong’s favor.

18th March, 2010 – Churchill Have It Easy Against Mohammedan Sporting

Riding on a goal each from Bineesh Balan, Lenney Rodrigues and Charan Rai Churchill Brothers clinched victory in their first IFA Shield match against Mohammedan SC. Bineesh drew the first blood in the 14th minute with an amazing individual goal before Cristopher restored parity for Sporting by converting a spot kick around the half-an-hour mark after Ravanan handed the ball inside his own area. Mohammedan, buoyed by their surprise win over China’s Shandong FC in last game, matched their illustrious goan rivals shot for shot until the end of the first half when Debkumar Sasmal got marching orders for a dangerous foul on Bineesh Balan.

After the change of ends Churchill utilized their numerical advantage to score two more goals to put the game to bed. Lenny Rodrigues scored in the 68th minute to put the Goan side 2-1 up before man of the match Charan Rai got in to act to double his side’s lead with just about five minutes remaining on the clock to complete comprehensive 3-1 win for the defending Champions.

18th March, 2011 – Lajong Two Good For Chirag

Chirag United’s insipid run of form continues as Shilling Lajong came from a goal behind to score two goals in last 10 minutes to conjure up a 2-1 triymph. After a barren first half Denson Devdas put Chirag United on the driver’s seat with a sublime header off Lalkamal Bhowmick’s corner in the 53rd minute much to the delight of Kolkata crowd. However Lajong staged a late spirited recovery when Racy was brought in to replace Boithang in the 68th minute. A 20 minute cameo by the promising midfielder, Racy, saw Lajong equalize in the 81st minute. Racy completed a brilliant brace five minutes later which would prove to be the decisive goal when the referee blew the final whistle. The adjudicator could hardly choose anyone else except Racy for the man of the match award.

17th March, 2011 – High-Five: Memorable IFA Shield Encounters

TheHardTackle travels down memory lane to bring you the five most memorable and significant encounters in the history of IFA Shield.
Link: http://www.thehardtackle.com/index.php/high-five-memorable-ifa-shield-encounters/

17th March, 2011 – Southern Samity On A Giant-killing Spree

After registering a surprise win against East Bengal in their Shield opener, Southern Samity notched up their second victory in successive matches as they defeated China’s Shandong FC 1-0 in another giant-killing performance. The solitary goal of the match was scored by Sowmi PT in the 21st minute. Southern got a 30 yards free kick and Chandan Das delivered an inch-perfect ball towards Sowmi at a comfortable height who found the back of the net with a well placed header. The Chinese side, who lost their first match against Mohammedan SC, chased the game through out the second half in search of the elusive equalizer, but could not convert their superior possession in to a goal. The goal-scorer, Sowmi, has been selected as the man of the match.

17th March, 2011 – Mohun Bagan Clinches All Three Points Against Aryan

A first half strike by Asim Biswas helped Mohun Bagan to register their first win in 115th IFA Shield. Gouranga Dutta got the ball on the right wing and with a sudden burst of pace, beat his marker to send a delightful cross inside the box for an onrushing Asim, who made no mistake to blast it past Aryan goalkeeper Chirodip in the 38th minute. Both the sides created a few decent goal-scoring opportunities in the second half, but failed to convert any of those. Asim Biswas got the man of the match award.

16th March, 2011 – The Glorious History Of IFA Shield

IFA Shield’s current condition is pretty poor, and very few teams take it seriously nowadays. But there was a time when “Shield” was the most important football tournament in India. TheHardTackle recalls those days of pomp and glory.
Link: http://www.thehardtackle.com/index.php/the-glorious-history-of-ifa-shield/

16th March 2011 – Pune FC Got The Better of Chirag United

A brilliant 89th minute strike by substitute striker Subhash Singh helped Pune FC to register a 1-0 win over local club side Chirag United. After a rather subdued display by both the teams till the 80th minute, the game sprung back to life when Chirag TD Subrata Bhattacharya introduced Durand Cup hero Md. Rafiq in place of Malswam Tulunga in the 81st minute. Derrick Pereira responded with a positive change by taking off midfielder Arata Izumi in favor of striker Subhash Singh a couple of minutes later. The move paid off as Subhash scored the all important goal, his first goal of the season for Pune FC, from Edmar Figueira’s pass in the dying moments of the match to help his side begin their Shield campaign on a winning note.

15th March, 2011 – Mohammedan Sporting Stun Chinese Shandong FC

Coming in to the match, not even the die-hard Mohammedan SC fan would have expected the club to notch up the biggest upset of the tournament so far, but Fuza Topa’s men did just that as they faught tooth and nails to come out 1-0 winners in their Shield opener. Shandong dominated the match right from the very begining, but inspired goalkeeping by Manas Barua helped the Kolkata club to restrict the visitors to a 0-0 score-line by the half time breather. The second half was no exception either and just when it seemed like a goal-less stalemate would be the most feasible result, Christopher latched on to a forward ball from the right by Nilendra Dewan and scored an amazing goal after dribbling past two rival defenders in the 85th minute to send the Kolkata crowd ecstatic. Mohammedan SC’s Japanese forward Han Wook got the man of the match award.

14th March, 2011 – Lajong Shares Honors With Mohun Bagan

Shillong Lajong drew their second successive match as they hold off Group-B favorite Mohun Bagan to a 1-1 draw. Bagan started the match brightly and threatened to score early with some crisp movements. Asim Biswas drew the first blood in 32nd minute when Gouranga Dutta’s corner found the striker unmarked inside the six yards box and Asim did not make any mistake to put Mohun Bagan ahead in the match. Lajong fought back in the second half and a brilliant 25 yards free kick by Zenith restored the parity in 66th minute. The match ended 1-1 with Shillong Lajong’s goal-scorer Zenith walking away with the man of the match award.

12th March 2011 – Southern Shock For East Bengal

Southern Samity, Kolkata pulled off one the major upsets in IFA Shield when they got the better of heavywieght East Bengal FC in their Group opener. East Bengal, who have rested as many as 8 first team regulars for this match, started the match brightly and went ahead in the 2nd minute of the match – thanks to a 40 yards left footed thunderous drive by Ravinder Singh. However Southern made it 1-1 just before halftime as former East Bengal striker Edmilson found the back of the net with a curling free kick 2 minutes before the half time whistle. The score-line remained 1-1 till the 92nd minute, but just at the stroke of final whistle Edmilson scored a fabulous goal to haunt down his former side. His curling delivery from a corner kick swung in air and took a 90 degree turn to find the back of the net leaving East Bengal custodian Abhra Mondal completely stunned. This may arguably be the most spectacular goal one would expect to see in this edition of IFA Shield.

11th March 2011 – Aryan Club vs Shillong Lajong – 3:00 PM IST

Post-match: Aryan Club Kolkata shared points with Shillong Lajong FC in the opening encounter of 115th IFA Shield. Midfielder Thoiba Singh drew early blood for Aryan in the 20th minute from Babatunde’s pass. However Lajong brought things back on level after 5 minutes with a sublime individual goal. First half ended 1-1 as Babatunde missed a golden opportunity to put Aryans ahead just before the break. Aryan tried their best to break through Lajong defense in the second half, but some gritty defending ensured that Lajong finish the match with a point to their name.

FT’: Aryan Club 1-1 Shillong Lajong

80′: Aryan 1-1 Lajong

75′: Aryan 1-1 Lajong

65′: Aryan 1-1 Lajong

55′: Aryan 1-1 Lajong

HT’: Aryan 1-1 Lajong

40′: Aryan 1-1 Lajong

30′: Aryan 1-1 Lajong

25′: GOOOAAALLL : Lajong Equalize. Scorer – Racy.

20′: GOOOAAALLL : Aryan takes the lead. Scorer – Thoiba Singh.

10′: Aryan 0-0 Lajong

1′: Kick-off

Group-A Preview : http://www.thehardtackle.com/index.php/2011-ifa-shield-group-a-preview/

Group-B Preview : http://www.thehardtackle.com/index.php/2011-ifa-shield-group-a-preview/

11th March 2011 – The Complete Fixture

Group A : East Bengal, MohammedanSC, Southern Samity, Churchill Brothers, Shandong Lueng (CHINA)

Group B: Mohun Bagan, Chirag United, Aryan Club, Shillong Lajong FC, Pune FC

11.03.2011 :: Aryan Club   Vs   Shilong Lajong FC – IST 15.00 Hrs
12.03.2011 :: East Bengal   Vs   Southern Samity – IST 15.00 Hrs
14.03.2011 :: Mohun Bagan   Vs   Shilong Lajong FC – IST 15.00 Hrs
15.03.2011 :: Mohammedan S.C   Vs   Shandong FC – IST 15.00 Hrs
16.03.2011 :: Chirag   Vs   Pune FC – IST 15.00 Hrs
17.03.2011 :: Shandong FC   Vs   Southern Samity – IST 14.30 Hrs
17.03.2011 :: Mohun Bagan   Vs   Aryan – IST 17.00 Hrs)
18.03.2011 :: Churchill Brothers   Vs   Mohammedan SC- IST 14.30 Hrs
18.03.2011 :: Chirag United   Vs   Shilon Lajong – IST 17.00 Hrs
20.03.2011 :: East Bengal   Vs   Mohammedan SC – IST 14.30 Hrs
20.03.2011 :: Churchill Brothers   Vs   Shandong FC – IST 17.00 Hrs
21.03.2011 :: Chirag United   Vs  Aryan – IST 14.30 Hrs
21.03.2011 :: Mohun Bagan   Vs   Pune FC – IST 17.00 Hrs
22.03.2011 :: Shandong FC   Vs  East Bengal – IST 15.00 Hrs
23.03.2011 :: Aryan   Vs   Pune FC – IST 14.30 Hrs
23.03.2011 :: East Bengal   Vs   Churchill Brothers  – IST 17.00 Hrs
24.03.2011 :: Mohun Bagan   Vs   Chirag United – IST 15.00 Hrs
25.03.2011 :: Mohammedan SC   Vs   Churchill Brothers – IST 14.30 Hrs
25.03.2011 :: East Bengal   Vs   Shandong FC  – IST 17.00 Hrs
26.03.2011 :: Pune FC   Vs  Shillong Lajong – IST 15.00 Hrs

28.03.2011 :: Semi Final 1 : A1 v B2 [Timings TBD]
28.03.2011 :: Semi Final 2 : B1 v A2 [Timings TBD]

31.03.2011 :: 3rd / 4th Place [Timings TBD]

31.03.2011 :: Final [Timings TBD]