A clinical performance by Mohun Bagan Super Giant saw them get the better of Mumbai City FC 3-1 in the fourth quarterfinals and qualify for the semifinals of the 132nd Durand Cup edition played at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata. Jason Cummings, Manvir Singh, and Anwar Ali scored the winning goals for Mohun Bagan SG while Pereyra Diaz scored the consolation for Mumbai City FC.
Mumbai City Head Coach Des Buckingham and Mohun Bagan Head Coach Juan Ferrando both named their strongest sides for the most anticipated encounter. The high quality in the middle of the park caused both teams to cancel 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 was 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. Still, it fell into the path of the onrushing Argentine striker who diverted the ball into the goal with his chest.
The Islanders were pegged back as Mohun Bagan took the lead soon after. Hugo Boumous’ 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 as midfielder Apuia’s loose ball was picked up by him but his left-footed effort flew above the crossbar as Bagan went in the break with a 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 in the corner of the goal.
Mumbai were looking out of ideas in the middle as Mohun Bagan defended well neutralizing both wingers Bipin and Chhangte, 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. Mohun Bagan SG will be facing FC Goa in the semifinals on 31st August.
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