Durand Cup Final 2019: Mohun Bagan vs Gokulam Kerala FC | 5 Talking Points
Gokulam Kerala FC stunned 16-time champions, Mohun Bagan, 2-1 at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday evening. Marcus Joseph's brace silenced the 43,000 spectators who gathered in 'green and maroon' to witness their favourite team clinch the first silverware of the season.
Even though Salva Chamorro pulled one back for 'The Mariners', Gokulam Kerala FC held their nerves to claim their first-ever Durand Cup title. A controversial penalty appeal in the dying seconds of the match was denied by the referee.
Marcus Joseph finished as the top scorer in the tournament with 11 goals to his name. This was a historic feat for the Kerala based outfits, having defeated both East Bengal and Mohun Bagan to lift the oldest football trophy in Asia.
Let us have a look at the 5 talking points from the match.
#5 Mohun Bagan’s lazy defending cost them the match
The defence has been the main area of concern for Mohun Bagan this season, they have shuffled with the back four like a pack of cards. Going in with the same line-up as in the semi-finals after an inspiring performance, they did not meet expectations on Saturday. Lalchhawnkima found it too tough a task to content with the duo of Marcus Joseph and Henry Kisekka.
Although Fran Morante averted danger on several occasions, it was the Spanish defender at fault which led to the opening goal of the match. The second goal was even better from Marcus. A through ball from Gokulam’s Naocha Singh found an unguarded Marcus Joseph with just the keeper to beat. The striker made swift strides towards the target and netted the second one for Gokulam Kerala FC.
#4 Has Mohun Bagan left too much for Salva Chamorro
The tall and lanky striker showed sparks of brilliance in the semi-final clash against Real Kashmir FC. The Spaniard could not re-create such a feat in the penultimate clash. Playing with a stereotipical mindset, he was waiting for the cross to head the ball into the target, which is his forte. It is not a sign of a versatile forward.
Gokulam Kerala FC’s stopper Andre Dennis Ettienne was right on the money for the eventual champions. The defender marked him from the first minute and hardly gave him any space inside the box. Salva scored the only goal from a header, but it went in due to the goalkeeper’s fault.
#3 Gokulam Kerala FC retain their 'giant killer' tag
After a dramatic win in the semi-final against East Bengal last earlier this week, they once again defied all odds and overcame the 16-time champions Mohun Bagan in their own den in front of their own supporters.
They were on the back-foot in the opening stages of the match, but the visitors had their moments too. It was a well-poised match, but the difference between the two teams was that Gokulam Kerala FC utilised their chances while Mohun Bagan did not. The team from Kerala created more openings and even converted en-route to their maiden Durand Cup title.