IFA Sheild 2018: Mohun Bagan's late winner sets up Derby final with East Bengal
Mohun Bagan U19 edged past SAIL Burnpur U19 2-1 in a mouth-watering encounter at the formers club ground on Tuesday evening. A late goal in the 83rd minute was enough for Mohun Bagan to secure their place in the final of the 122nd IFA Sheild. After both the teams were tied 1-1 after the first half, Subho Ghosh’s strike separated the two teams in the semi-final.
SAIL Academy Burnpur got a couple of easy chances in the opening minutes of the match but failed to convert. Poor finishing from the visiting team was the main reason for not making the breakthrough in the opening quarter of the game.
Souvik Ghoshal’s long ranger brushed the crossbar after the goalkeeper got a touch. Sourav Das finally scored the first goal for Mohun Bagan on the 21st minute from a set-piece. But the Green and Maroon brigade couldn’t hold on to the lead, conceding a goal in the 23rd minute.
Mohun Bagan got a couple of golden opportunities on the stroke of half-time. A smart set-piece caught the SAIL defenders on the wrong foot. Although the shot was stopped by the goalkeeper, the re-bound was connected by a Bagan player which came off after hitting the crossbar. Even though the Bagan players claimed the ball crossed the line, the referee was not interested.
Mohun Bagan were at the top of their game in the second half and even managed to penetrate the opponents’ back line but the finishing led them down. Lalthan Khuma and Deep Saha, the two substitutes acted as catalysts for the home side in the second half. Finally, the winner came in the 83rd minute when Samar Kumar’s shot was somehow kept away from the target but the rebound was gently placed inside the net to seal the deal.
The final between East Bengal U19 and Mohun Bagan will be played on Thursday afternoon. East Bengal are the most successful team in the history of the competition followed by their opponent Mohun Bagan. Old memories will be re-kindled and hopefully, the encounter will be as entertaining as the previous meetings between the two teams in an IFA Sheild final.