Durand Cup 2021: Mohammedan reach final

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Mohammedan SC have made it into Durand Cup 2021 final with a 4-2 comeback win against FC Bengaluru United. The I-League side scored two goals after extra time to book themselves a place in the 130th edition of Asia’s oldest tournament.

Pedro Manzi and Kingshuk Debnath were the goalscorers for the I-League 2nd division side. However, goals from Marcus Joseph, Faizal Ali, Brandon Vanlalremdika and skipper Nikola Stojanovic were enough for the Black Panthers to reach their sixth ever final in the tournament.

High-scoring Mohammedan are surely the favourites to win the tournament and have also defeated defending champions Gokulam Kerala in the semis. Will Marcus Joseph’s scoring form inspire the Panthers to win their third Durand Cup title?

A sweet revenge for Mohammedan against Bengaluru United in the Durand Cup

Earlier, when both the sides met in the Group A winner clash, Bengaluru United came on top with a 2-0 win against Mohammedan SC. However, their Durand Cup campaign ends on a high note after bowing down to hosts in a 4-2 loss.

It was the perfect start for the 2nd division club as Pedro Manzi found the back of the net as early as 22 seconds in the game. However, the Black Panthers responded well and equalized in the 9th minute. A superb solo goal from Joseph easing past the defenders.

It was an even match with both sides not at all hesitating in front of goal. The hosts completed the turnaround as Joseph assisted Faizal Ali for the second goal in the 38th minute.

In the second half, Bengaluru were pressing well in search for an early equalizer but to no avail. They had to wait till the 78th minute as Debnath was unmarked and thus, slotted home an equalizer from a Sanju Pradhan corner.

The match took an ugly turn for the Southern side as Manzi was sent off following a handball towards the end of 90 minutes. United struggled to cope up with 10-men in the field and eventually gave away a goal in the 102nd minute.

Finally, in the 110th minute, skipper Stojanovic sealed the victory with a well-taken penalty. He and Joseph have been two of the most influential players for the Kolkata club en route to the final. They will face FC Goa or Bengaluru FC in the final on 3rd October.

While Bengaluru United would be regrouping for their upcoming I League qualifiers.

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