Ten-man Gokulam Kerala FC rode Marcus Joseph’s prop to defeat Mohun Bagan 2-1 and lift the 129th Durand Cup in their debut appearance after an exciting final at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Saturday.
Joseph (45+1 penalty and 52nd minute) proceeded with his goalscoring spree to enable a Kerala to outfit win the oldest challenge in Asia for the first time since FC Kochin won it 22 years back.
City soccer giants Mohun Bagan, who last won the Durand Cup in 2000, have now lost in three finals on the trot (2004, 2009, 2019).
For the Mariners, Salva Chamorro (64th) scored a relief goal. It was tense in the last quarter as the hosts scanned for an equalizer and even observed Gokulam go down to 10-men when Jestin George has demonstrated a second yellow card for a foul on Lalchhawnkima in the 87th minute.
Mohun Bagan had a flurry of chances in both the parts yet were liable of spurning them as Gokulam Kerala hung on after Joseph gave them the lead and added to his count in the second half.
Mohun Bagan’s most obvious opportunity to draw level came three minutes after Chamorro scored, however, Henry Kisekka failed to change over a splendid cross.