Mohun Bagan will look to win a record 15th Federation Cup on May 21 against Bengaluru FC. Sanjoy Sen’s overcame East Bengal 2-0 to reach a second successive final in the tournament that they won by beating Aizawl FC in last year’s final. Earlier, Bengaluru had beaten the reigning I-League champions by a solitary goal in the other semifinal.

In the third Kolkata derby of the year, Darryl Duffy’s 35th-minute header and Balwant Singh’s 84th-minute strike proved to be the difference between the two fierce rivals.

East Bengal could have taken the lead as early as the 8th minute when Willis Plaza failed to tap home from close range after Mohamed Rafique had found the Trinidad & Tobago forward in the box. Three minutes later, Rafique saw his header from inside the box being denied by a fine Debjit save.

There were more openings for East Bengal but the Red and Golds failed to capitalise on them. In the 16th minute Rowllin Borges’s shot earned a good save by Mohun Bagan’s custodian Debjit Majumder and seven minutes later Wedson Anselme came close to drawing first blood when his shot from distance curled inches over the goal. Anselme had a good game personally as he beat Bagan defenders at will but was let down by the lack of an end product from his team.

For Mohun Bagan, the first real attempt at goal came in the 25th minute when a Sony Norde free-kick was parried away for a corner after Darryl Duffy was brought down. Sanjoy Sen’s men grew into the match and took the lead in the 35th minute when Darryl Duffy’s deft header off a Sony Norde cross crept into the back of the net.

Mohun Bagan’s midfield sat deep in the second half and protected the Mariners’ defence for much of the half, trying to safeguard a one-goal lead.

On the stroke of the hour mark, Rafique had a golden opportunity to equalise after a long ball in the box had left the Bagan defence confused. Rafique, however, failed to shoot the ball home from three yards out to add to Kingfisher East Bengal’s missed opportunities.

In the 78th minute, Debjit Majumder made a reflex save to deny Plaza’s header from close range. It was arguably the most important save of the match as Bagan would go on to score a second and kill the game off.

Balwant Singh doubled Bagan’s lead in the 84th minute with a well-taken volley as Katsumi Yusa ran to the byline and played it back to Singh who took his chance with aplomb.

The final will be held on the 21st, although Bengaluru FC have asked the AIFF to change the date to the 24th. On the 17th, Bagan and Bengaluru again lock horns in an AFC Cup group stage clash.