Bengaluru FC took their first-ever Durand Cup title when they defeated Mumbai City FC 2-1 on Sunday in the final at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata. Siva Sakthi and Brazilian Alan Costa scored for the winners, while Apuia scored the lone goal for MCFC in what was a fine display of end-to-end football.
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The Islanders did get a free kick in the very first minute of the game, but it was the Blues who took an early lead in the 10th minute via Siva Sakthi who scored his fifth goal of the tournament.
The long ball was delivered from deep in the BFC defense by Aleksander Jovanovic, putting pressure on Mourtada Fall with Siva on his shoulder. The Senegalese defender was eventually foxed by the bounce and Siva jumped on it and scored with a measured chip over the keeper.
Lallianzuala Chhangte then had the Islanders’ first chance after 17 minutes, as they equalized after half an hour when Sandesh Jhingan conceded a free kick in a dangerous zone. Ahmed Jahouh played off Greg Stewart, who went on one of his runs and took a left footed shot to the ground towards goal that held off Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. However, Apuia was on hand and tapped in the rebound with ease.
The Blues then almost took the lead in the 38th minute when Chhangte saved a miraculous goal-line from Roy Krishna’s shot from a Roshan Naorem corner.
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Vinit Rai then had a chance after being outplayed by Stewart but shot over from close range and the only other notable incident of the half was the first yellow card of the game for Mumbai captain Mourtada Fall.
The game remained tense in the second half. Five minutes later, Jahouh delivered a measured long ball that fell for Chhangte, who did a good job of getting away from two BFC defenders, but beating only the keeper left the tournament’s highest scorer over.
BFC then took the lead for the second and final time in the game when Brazil’s Costa jumped the highest and spiked a header into the back of the MCFC net from a corner from Sunil Chhetri. He was then replaced by Parasg Shrivas.
MCFC coach Des Buckingham then played his cards, substituting Mehtab Singh for Vinit Rai. In the 74th minute, he also brought in Gurkirat Singh for Apuia.