10-Man Mohun Bagan Super Giant claim win against East Bengal to win Durand Cup
The 10-man Mohun Bagan Super Giant defeated East Bengal 1-0 in a hotly contested championship match on Sunday, winning the Durand Cup for the first time in 23 years thanks to a moment of pure brilliance from Dimitri Petratos.
A magnificent solo effort from Petratos in the 71st minute gave Mohun Bagan the winning goal despite being down a man after Anirudh Thapa was dismissed in the 62nd minute. The Australian player quickly counterattacked, expertly evading the East Bengal defenders before unleashing a strong effort from 25 yards out. Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, the custodian for East Bengal, was a silent observer.
This was the 17th Durand Cup victory for Mohun Bagan. They defeated Mahindra United with a golden goal in 2000 to win their most recent championship.
In an effort to restore parity as time ran out, East Bengal coach Carles Cuadrat made three substitutions, inserting Nishu Kumar, VP Suhair, and Edwin Vanspaul in the last 10 minutes.
Anwar Ali was a rock-solid centre as Juan Ferrando of Mohun Bagan forced eight players into his defensive.
Dimas Delgado, the assistant coach for East Bengal, and Ferrando got into a heated argument, and after a fight, the former was sent out in the second half of extra time. Edwin Vanspaul tried a shot on goal from beyond the box in the 86th minute, but Anwar Ali quickly reacted and made a crucial stop to prevent East Bengal from scoring an equaliser.
Thus, Mohun Bagan exacted revenge for their 1-2 loss to East Bengal in the 2004 Durand Cup final.
Mohun Bagan have suffered three Durand Cup final defeats during this stage, with the most recent coming in 2019 against Gokulam Kerala (1-2).
A national-level victory had eluded East Bengal for more than 11 years at this point. The Federation Cup from 2012 remains their last triumph at the top level.
Both teams had scoring opportunities, but none of them materialised, resulting in a goalless opening 45 minutes.
The ball was caught by Sahal Abdul Samad near the outside of the box. He sent the ball to Petratos in front of him with a direct pass since he was surrounded by opponents, and the Australian attempted a shot. However, during injury time in the first half, the ball narrowly misses the crosspiece.
Prior to then, East Bengal attempted to attack on the break with Rakip and Borja combining on the right wing, but Nandhakumar Sekar, the last derby hero, and Siverio both missed two consecutive opportunities to score.
Hugo Boumous fluffed a shot in front of the goal post for Mohun Bagan around the hour mark, which resulted in a wasted opportunity.
Hugo was set up brilliantly inside the box by Petratos' high pass to Manvir on the right, who was brought on for Ashish Rai in the second half.
However, Hugo botched a simple finish, and the game remained scoreless.
Two minutes later, Anirudh Thapa was sent from Mohun Bagan for tackling Siverio, leaving the team with just 10 players.
In an apparent accident, the Indian midfielder tackled the Spaniard in the head while attempting to get possession of an aerial ball.
However, the East Bengal attacker collapsed to the ground writhing in agony, and referee Rahul Gupta issued Thapa a second caution.