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116th IFA Shield: East Bengal crowned champions!

East Bengal Club won their 28th IFA Shield title in the 116th edition of the tournament with a 4-2 penalty shootout victory against Prayag United SC. Young goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was the hero with two saves in the shootout.East Bengal had mor...

East Bengal Club won their 28th IFA Shield title in the 116th edition of the tournament with a 4-2 penalty shootout victory against Prayag United SC. Young goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was the hero with two saves in the shootout.

East Bengal had more from the match throughout the 120 minutes with Prayag United taking a rather defensive approach like against Brazilian side Botafogo in the semifinal. The red-and-gold had their chances, but their finishing be it Tolgay Ozbey, Robin Singh or others were on this day not upto the mark.

In the shootout East Bengal scored all their four penalties Tolgay Ozbey, Khanthang Paite, Robin Singh and Subodh Kumar with their goalkeeper Gurpreet turning out to be an unlikely hero as he first blocked a James Singh penalty and then deflected a Bello Rasaq shot onto the woodwork while Jayanta Sen and Yakubu Yusif scored for Prayag United, but that was not enough.

It was a typical football script – from zero to hero within a few weeks when on January 31 Gurpreet had committed a blunder in the I-League against Pryag United which gifted them the three points then, now on this day Gurpreet is the man who won East Bengal the IFA Shield.

For his match winning performance Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was named ‘Man of the Match’ in the final. The Sailen Manna Trophy went to Prayag United defender Anupam Sarkar, while his coach Sanjay Sen received the S.A. Rahim Trophy.

MATCH STATS

East Bengal Club 0-0,4-2 Prayag United SC [penalties] – Goals: none.

East Bengal
30-Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; 33-Saikat Saha Roy (78′ 11-Khanthang Paite), 4-Uga Okpara [C], 16-Gurwinder Singh, 29-Soumik Dey; 34-Subodh Kumar, 17-Sushanth Mathew (20′ 15-Sanju Pradhan), 7-Harmanjot Singh Khabra (95′ 25-Robert Lalthlumuana), 18-Penn Ikechukwu Orji; 23-Robin Singh, 20-Tolgay Ozbey

Prayag United SC
1-Abhijit Mondal; 17-Deepak Kumar Mondal (15′ 18-Sukhen Dey), 6-Bello Rasaq, 29-Anupam Sarkar, 37-Narugopal Hait; 13-James Lukram Singh, 7-Denson Devadas, 19-Jayanta Sen, 12-Gouranga Biswas (100′ 25-Shankar Oraon), 14-Mohammed Rafique (51′ 9-Kayne Vincent), 26-Yakubu Yusif [C]

Referee
M.B. Santosh Kumar

Published with permission from Arunava Chaudhuri.

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