A clinical performance by Mohun Bagan Super Giant saw them get the better of Mumbai City FC 3-1 in the fourth quarter-finals and qualify for the semi-fnals of the Durand Cup played at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata.
Jason Cummings, Manvir Singh and Anwar AAli scored the winning goals for Mohun Bagan while Jorge Pereyra Diaz scored the consolation for Mumbai City FC. Mohun Bagan Super Giant will face FC Goa in the semifinals on 31st August.
Mumbai City Head Coach Des Buckingham named his strongest side with Jorge Pereyra Diaz, Bipin Singh and Lallianzuala Chhangte leading the line and Rahul Bheke, Mehtab Singh, Akash Mishra and Yoell Van Nieff in defence.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant started with new signing Hector Yuste, Anwar Ali and Subhasish Bose in defence with Ashique Kuruniyan and Manvir Singh as wing backs. Armando Sadiku and Jason Cummings lead the attack line for the home side. Both managers packed their midfield with high quality as Greg Stewart, Alberto Noguera and Apuia started for Mumbai against Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad and Hugo Boumous for Mohun Bagan. Vishal Kaith and Phurba Lachenpa started in goal for Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City respectively.
The high quality in the middle of the park so both teams cancelling each other’s moves out in the initial exchanges of the game, which made it difficult to create much space through the middle. Ashique Kuruniyan started to create space from the left wing and his pass behind the defence led to Mumbai keeper Phurba Lachnepa clumsily bringing down Jason Cummings.
The resultant penalty was calmly converted by the Australian giving the Kolkata side the lead. Mumbai started to take control of the match and were giving the Mohun Bagan defence some trouble. The positive intent was given the result in the 28th minute with Jorge Pereyra Diaz equalizing for the Islanders. Greg Stewart and Alberto Noguera combined well down the left and the latter’s cross was deflected away by keeper Vishal Kaith but it fell onto the path of the rushing Argentinian who diverted the ball into the goal with his chest.
The Islanders were pegged back soon after as Mohun Bagan took the lead soon after. Hugo Boumous’s looping cross was brilliantly headed into the goal by Manvir Singh, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Manvir could have scored his second of the game soon after capitalizing on a mistake by Apuia. The midfielder’s loose ball was picked up by Manvir but he rushed his left footed effort which flied above the crossbar as Mohun Bagan went into the break with their single goal lead.
Vikram Partap Singh was introduced by Des Buckingham in the second half to increase the intensity of the attack. Mumbai came firing out of the blocks, looking for the equalizer. Greg Stewart came close to scoring as his left footed curler went agonizingly close to Vishal Kaith’s goal. On the other end Armando Sadiku lashed his shot high above the bar.
Even though Mumbai were dominating the ball, it was Mohun Bagan who were taking their chances. Anwar Ali maintained the club’s two goal advantage in the 63rd minute. Ashique Kuruniyan showed silky skills bamboozling Apuia and Bipin Singh and putting in a dangerous ball for Anwar Ali who jumped high to plant his header on the corner of the goal.
Mumbai were looking out of ideas in the middle as Mohun Bagan defended well neutralizing both wingers Bipin and L. Chhangte who are usually the providers for Mumbai City’s goals. Substitute Gurkirat Singh showed some intent in the closing stages but the Islanders could not disturb the Mariners goal. In the end, Mohun Bagan took the bragging rights in the match between the giants of Indian football, qualifying for the semifinals.