In their first-ever appearance at the Durand Cup, Gokulam Kerala won the title by getting past local favourite Mohun Bagan by 2-1 in the final at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Saturday. Marcus Joseph scored both the goals for the Kerala-based I-League team in the summit clash.
Gokulam managed to get the lead in the first half of the match when Trinidadian striker Marcus Joseph converted a penalty towards the end of the half in the stoppage time. Soon after the change of sides, Joseph again found the back of the net through a brilliant left-footer that gave the visitors a two goal cushion in the 51st minute of the final game.
For the home side, Salva Chamorro managed to head the ball past the Kerala goalie in the 64th minute to halve the deficit but that was not enough for the 16-time champions Mohun Bagan. With three minutes left on the clock, Jestin George was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence and the Kerala-based team played the remainder of the game with 10 men. However, they managed to defend well in the dying moments of the game to maintain the lead and win the title.
Gokulam Kerala is the second club from the southern state to win the Durand Cup after FC Kochin. On the other hand, the Mariners had last won the tournament in 2000 as they defeated Mahindra United while they last played a final way back in 2009.