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Durand Cup 2019: Marcus Joseph brace downs Mohun Bagan, lands Gokulam Kerala title

16:26 GMT+3 24/08/2019
Gokulam Kerala Durand Cup 2019
The Kolkata giants failed to capture a record 17th title as the Kozhikode-based side won Asia's oldest football tournament...

Ten-man Gokulam Kerala defeated Mohun Bagan 2-1 to emerge champions of the 2019 Durand Cup in the final, played at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Saturday.

Marcus Joseph (45+1' Pen & 52') scored twice to hand Gokulam Kerala the famous old trophy in its 129th edition while Mohun Bagan got a consolation goal through Salva Chamorro (64'). 

Antonio 'Kibu' Vicuna made two changes in the Mohun Bagan starting XI which defeated Real Kashmir in the semifinal. Last match's hero VP Suhair replaced Alexander Jesuraj Romario upfront and Debjit Majumder replaced Sankar Roy at the goal.

It was an end-to-end affair in the first half where both teams got their fair share of chances to break the deadlock. Bagan’s first major chance came in the 22nd minute when Joseba Beitia attempted a shot from the edge of the box but the ball went above the crossbar.

The visitors squandered one of the easiest chances of the match in the 26th minute when Mohammed Rashid failed to convert from a handshaking distance. Marcus entered the penalty from the left side and squared the ball in front of the goal. Henry and Rashid where inside the box but none of them could push the ball in.

Just at the stroke of halftime, Marcus Joseph forwarded a through ball from a counter-attack for Kisseka inside the box who was one-on-one with Debjit. The Bagan custodian had no other option but to commit a foul and give away a penalty. Joseph scored his 10th goal tournament to put his team in front at half time.

Mohun Bagan lacked the intensity from the beginning of the second half and looked tired. Gokulam capitalized the opportunity and scored the second goal of the match in 51st minute.

Ashutosh Mehta lost the ball in the opposition’s half as Naocha Singh snatched it away and ran down the left flank before finding Marcus. The Trinidadian striker outpaced Lalchhawnkima, entered the box and found the back of the net.

Gokulam could have sealed the fate of the match at the hour mark when Shibil Muhammed attempted a shot at goal but Debjit Majumder came to Bagan’s rescue by pulling off a brilliant save.

The Mariners pulled one back in the 64th minute when Salva Chamorro scored from Joseba Heitia free-kick. Beitia sent a curling ball inside the box to which Salva connected a header. It was supposed to be routine save for Ubaid CK but he fumbled and let the ball in.

Mohun Bagan went all guns blazing after reducing the margin and flocked the opposition’s box in numbers. Gokulam defenders stood firm on their ground and countered all the attacks.

Joseph could have scored a third in the 86th minute from Naocha Singh’s cross but the skipper failed to touch the ball from a very close range.

A minute later Gokulam were down to ten men after central defender Jestin George received his second book and a red card for an ugly challenge on Kimkima.

Bagan players for a penalty in the dying moments of the match when Irshad blocked Suhair's shot inside the box. The home team were convinced about the penalty but the referee thought otherwise.

Gokulam Kerala became the second team from Kerala after FC Kochin to win the prestigious Durand Cup and in their very first participation itself. Mohun Bagan lost a third consecutive Durand Cup final after 2004 and 2009.