A goal each from youngster N. Sivasakthi and the seasoned Alan Costa in either half set up a 2-1 victory for Bengaluru FC over ISL rival Mumbai City FC in the final of the 131st Durand Cup here on Sunday. It was the Bengaluru side’s maiden title in the tournament. Lalengmawia Ralte (Apuia) found the target for Mumbai.
Bengaluru appeared well prepared for the big occasion, quickly springing into action. It took the lead in the 10th minute when Sivasakthi won the battle with Murtada Fall, the towering Senegalese defender, before lobbing the ball over Mumbai City goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa with a spectacular finish.
Mumbai City, trying to regroup, made a couple of unsuccessful attempts before finding the equalizer at the half-hour mark. Scottish striker Greg Stewart fired a rasping left-footer that was blocked by Bengaluru custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. However, the rebound reached the feet of Apuia lurking close by and the midfielder made no mistake.
In the 61st minute, Bengaluru reestablished its lead when skipper Sunil Chhetri’s corner kick set it up for the tall Alan Costa to nod home. Mumbai City had a good chance to equalize 15 minutes later, but substitute and Spanish midfielder Alberto Noguera saw his powerful shot from the edge of the penalty box bounce off the upright.
Bengaluru had an opportunity to increase its lead in the 87th minute, but Lachenpa’s valiant save denied Chhetri. Despite Mumbai City’s best efforts, the Bengaluru outfit held on for the remainder of the game.
The result (final): Mumbai City FC1 (Lalengmawia Ralte 30) lost to Bengaluru FC 2 (Sivasakthi 10, Alan Costa 61).