Durand Cup 2019: 3 Reasons why Mohun Bagan defeated Real Kashmir FC
After a cagey first half-hour, Salva Chamarro opened the scoring with a volley, with the fans at the Salt Lake Stadium roaring behind the Mohun Bagan side.
The match looked over as Real Kashmir were still trailing going into injury time. In the third minute of injury time, Loveday Okechukwu launched a long free-kick straight into Bagan's penalty box. The towering Gnohere Krizo timed his jump to perfection and beat the onrushing Sankar Roy as the ball ended up hitting the back of the net.
VP Suhair scored a brace in extra time, hurting the exhausted Real Kashmir defence to seal the victory for his side.
Here are three reasons why Mohun Bagan got the better of Real Kashmir on Wednesday evening.
#1 Fluidity in Mohun Bagan attackers
Surabuddin Mollick ran the show on the right wing, while Alexander Romario and Gurjinder Kumar doubled up on the left wing to create problems for the Real Kashmir defence. Joseba Beitia was at the centre of the play as he dominated proceedings, initiating attacks from the middle of the park.
Salva Chamarro didn't get much chances but he tucked away the volley and opened the scoring in the 42nd minute after Gurjinder found him with a pin-point cross.
After Beitia was taken off, his replacement Francisco Gonzales was instrumental in midfield as he grabbed both the assists for Suhair's goals in extra time.
Mohun Bagan had 63% of the possession till the 90th minute but were lacking a poacher who could finish off chances created and it all changed when Suhair kicked into the second gear in extra time.
#2 Real Kashmir missed Mason Robertson
Robertson missed Real Kashmir's match against FC Goa but was named in the starting XI against Mohun Bagan for the semi-final. But a last minute injury saw him getting ruled out as he was replaced by forward Krizo.
Mohun Bagan completely dominated the match from the first minute till the last minute. Real Kashmir missed a calming presence in the middle of the park who shields the defence and creates chances as well.
It was unclear whether the Scottish player would have been deployed alongside Loveday as a centre-back or a defensive midfielder, but he would have added solidity in either position.
Robertson has a calm and sharp mind which allows him to initiate attacks from the back and help his side in keeping the ball away from their goal.
#3 Defensive solidity of Mohun Bagan
While the Mohun Bagan attack was slick and creative, the defence was pretty solid too. The Kolkata giants almost kept a clean sheet, had it not been for an injury time goal.
Francisco Morante stole the show at the back with clearances after clearances, while leading the back line as well. The Spanish centre-back made a goal-line clearance in the 100th minute, denying Real Kashmir a second equalizer in the match. Had it not been for the clearance, the match could have turned in any direction from thereon.
Ashutosh Mehta and Lalchhawnkima were solid at the back, making tackles when required and keeping the ball away from goal. Gurjinder Kumar was flashier in attacks but completed his defensive responsibility as well by covering the whole of left flank.
Although Sankar Roy made a mistake in Real Kashmir's equalizer as he was too slow to get off the blocks, the goalkeeper produced a decent performance in the match.