New Delhi, Sep 17 (IANS) ONGC set-up a final clash with Mohammedan Sporting after a scrappy 1-0 win over Indian Navy in the second semifinal of the 126th Durand Cup football tournament at the Ambedkar Stadium here Tuesday.
Henry Ezeh's goal in the 53rd minute was the difference between the two teams in a match where chances came at a premium.
ONGC will take on Mohammedan Sporting in Thursday's final. Mohammedan Sporting had beaten Mumbai Tigers in the Monday's first semifinal.
Indian Navy were the team that took the initiative in the first half. Their brilliant passes and movements in and around the ONGC players was spectacular to watch.
But for all their 'tiki-taka', they failed to really make clear-cut chances and stumble in the final third.
Even though, Indian Navy had greater possession and passed the ball better, the two best chances of the half fell to ONGC.
Henry missed a sitter after some brilliant work by Lovino Fernandes on the left wing while goalkeeper Bhaskar Roy made an amazing save to deny Henry again.
The second half was a much more open game as both teams looked for the opener. And it was the Nigerian striker who came to the rescue of his team. Lovino who was a constant threat down the wings again troubled the Indian Navy back four.
His cross found Henry but Bhaskar came out to meet the ball, and in a goalmouth melee, Henry managed to scramble the ball in.
Indian Navy did their best to find the equaliser but resilient defending by ONGC, especially their Nigerian centre-back Adedla Hassan, denied Indian Navy any clear chances.
However, there was a twist in the tale 12 minutes from time as defender Karan Atwal was sent off after receiving his second yellow card of the match.
Indian Navy, though, failed to take any real advantage of being a man up. Instead in their hunt for the equaliser they left big gaps at the back but a tired Henry missed a couple of gilt-edged chances.