Md Sporting enter sixth Durand final

Win impressive 6-goal thriller against Bengaluru Utd

Md Sporting enter sixth Durand final
Pic: Mohammedan Sporting (twitter)

KOLKATA: Local favourites Mohammedan Sporting overcame FC Bengaluru United (FCBU) 4-2 in extra time to enter the final of the 130th Durand Cup.

At the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) Md. Sporting who made their sixth final, had Marcus Joseph, Faisal Ali, Brandon Vanlalremdika and Nikola Stojanovic score.

In their quest for a third Durand Cup title, the Kolkata side began with a shock start after  Bengaluru United striker Pedro Manzi (1st) gave his side the lead after just 22 seconds! 

The score-line, in the end, was a bit flattering for Sporting with United ending the game with 10-men. The match ended 2-2 in 90 minutes of regular time and Sporting scored once in each half of the extra time.

Bengaluru started off well with a  move down the right flank involving Yumnam Gopi Singh straight after kick-off finding Manzi in space on top of the box. Off a second chance handed by the Sporting defence, Mansi made no mistake with a booming drive past 'keeper Zothanmawia.

Stunned by the goal, Sporting responded with Milan Singh trying on goal, but it was the inimitable Trinidadian Marcus Joseph, who was destined to equalize for Sporting.

It was another one from the left of the box cutting across the 'keeper with his left foot. It was his fifth goal in this edition of the Durand Cup, putting him in running for the golden boot for the second year running.

The Sporting attack line led by Serbian Nikola Stojanovic and ably supported by the likes of Azharuddin Mallik, Sk. Faiaz, Faisal and Marcus Joseph were good and stitched together quite a few attractive moves.

From one such move, Marcus Joseph found Faisal in the clear inside the box on the left and the youngster came up with a clinical finish, beating Kunzang Bhutia for the second time in the game.

The second half began as the first had ended with Sporting looking to take most of the initiatives. Quite against the run of play then, Kingshuk Debnath, a local boy, got Bengaluru back in the game, slotting home from a melee off a corner.

However, with a minute into added time, Manzi was shown red after a second bookable offence forcing Hood into bringing in team fitness coach cum player Chelston Pinto to help his team fight through 30 minutes of extra time.

The change which made all the difference though was the one made by Chernyshov in the 83rd minute when he had brought on the pacy Brandon Vanlalremdika to replace Sk. Faiaz is on the right.

The diminutive winger peppered the 10-man Bengaluru defence in the second half with Stojanovic providing him ample support and supply.

In one such move in the dying stages of the first 15 minutes of extra-time, the Serbian found him in the clear inside the box. The Mizo had quite a bit to do with two defenders challenging him. He shrugged them off with two deft body feints, first inside than outside and unleashed a grounder with pin-point accuracy to beat Bhutia.

The final goal of the contest was fittingly scored by Stojanovic who blasted a penalty past Bhutia in the 110th minute of the game for a resounding scoreline for the local team.

Edited - SportsAction / Inputs - Agency