Prayag pip east bengal in final
United SC rode on Ranty Martins’ second-half strike to pip defending champions East Bengal and break their 14-match unbeaten run for their maiden IFA Shield title on Wednesday. The purple brigade also avenged their last year’s loss in the Shield final as Man of the Match Martins’ 80th minute goal denied overwhelming favourites East Bengal a record 25th title. In the repeat of last year’s final which East Bengal had won on penalties, the giants looked like a shadow of their former self as they missed opportunities while Chidi’s injury proved to be a big blow.East Bengal had defeated United SC 4-2 in the penalty shoot-out in the last year’s final. This was the young Kolkata team’s second big win after their 2010 Durand Cup triumph. In pursuit of their record 25th titles, East Bengal were tentative to start with as they played a watchful game in the first 45 minutes. Playing without their ace forward Edeh Chidi who was benched because of a hamstring pull, East Bengal clearly struggled to get into the act and paid the price.