Mohammedan Sporting entered the final of the Durand Cup 2021 with a hardfought 4-2 win over 10-man FC Bengaluru United after extra time. The Black Panthers scored twice in each period of extra time, with the game having ended 2-2 after 90 minutes.
FC Bengaluru United forward Pedro Manzi scored the fastest goal of the Durand Cup 2021, giving his side the lead after just 22 seconds. Mohammedan roared back with goals from Marcus Joseph and Faisal Ali to lead 2-1 at half-time.
FC Bengaluru United equalized against the run of play in the second half through Kinshuk Debnath. Manzi then turned from hero to villain as he was sent off for a deliberate handball.
Mohammedan made their numerical advantage count in extra time with goals from substitute Brandon Vanlalremdika and Nikola Stojanovic.
Mohammedan entertain crowd of 25,000
Almost 25,000 fans were in attendance at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Monday, all cheering for local side Mohammedan. Entertainment wise, it was well worth their time as the game got off to a flying start.
Uruguayan Manzi found the ball at his feet after a well-worked move by FC Bengaluru United from kick-off. He took one look at the goal and curled it into the far corner off the post to give his side a very early lead.
With the crowd on their side, Mohammedan equalized in the ninth minute through their top scorer Joseph. The Trinidadian showed quick feet to beat two defenders at the edge of the box and fired into the far post bottom corner.
Seven minutes before half-time, the Black Panthers took the lead with Joseph again at the heart of things. He turned provider for winger Faisal this time as the youngster produced a similar finish to beat goalkeeper Kunzang Bhutia.
The tempo of the game dropped drastically in the second half as Mohammedan defended in a really organized manner. FC Bengaluru United were hardly given a sniff but their goal came out of the blue.
In the 78th minute, Sanju Pradhan sent in a corner which was flicked on by Manzi at the near post. Amidst the chaos inside the six-yard-box, the ball fell to defender Kinshuk, who smashed it in for the equalizer.
FC Bengaluru United were then reduced to 10 men as Manzi received a second yellow card for a needless handball. Mohammedan held their nerves and got over the line in extra time.
Two minutes before the end of the first period, Stojanovic found Brandon in space with a first-time ball on the right. The winger dribbled past two defenders and produced a clinical finish to give Mohammedan the lead again.
Man of the match Stojanovic confirmed Mohammedan’s place in the final after converting a penalty in the 109th minute.