2.10.2010, Cuttack: Current form prevailed over past records, as East Bengal pipped arch-rivals Mohun Bagan 1-0 to retain the Federation Cup, at the floodlit Barabati Stadium, here on Saturday.
Receiving a pass from Robin Singh, Vashum beat two defenders before bulging the opposition net with a right-footer.
Mohun Bagan were surely unlucky.
Despite dominating the match for most of the 90 minutes and creating more scoring opportunities, they ended on the losing side.
A couple of decisions by referee Dinesh Nair also cost them dear.
Mohun Bagan had their share of chances as two goals from Asim Biswas and Subair Murithala Ali were disallowed, for foul and offside, respectively.
Mohun Bagan’s agony did not end there.
In the 88th minute, their leading scorer Murithala was given marching orders for the second yellow card in the match.
East Bengal won the match because they capitalised on their opportunities better.
Their victory margin would have been 2-0 but for Tolgay Ozebe who missed a penalty in the 20th minute.
The penalty was awarded when the Australian recruit was fouled inside the box by R. Dhanarajan.
But Ozebe, the joint-leading scorer of the tournament with Murithala, made a mess of the chance by shooting wide.
In fact, Mohun Bagan began the match aggressively with their forward duo of Murithala and Jose Barreto combining well.
But, Trevor Morgan-coached East Bengal did well to hold the striking duo.
Mohun Bagan missed another chance when Snehashish Chakraborty’s free-kick flew past the rival goal.
Murithala did equalise but his shot was ruled offside.
The red and gold brigade had to rely on their defenders as forwards Ozebe and Robin Singh were bereft of service.
East Bengal thus became the second team after Mohameddan Sporting to win back to back Federation Cup titles. The 2009-10 triumph came under a Belgian — Phillippe de Ridder — and this time a British. One hopes, Morgan doesn’t treat the AFC Cup, which East Bengal will play by virtue of winning the Fed Cup, the way the Belgian treated.
East Bengal coach Trevor James Morgan admitted that luck favoured his team in the Federation Cup final against Mohun Bagan, here on Saturday.
“Luck was in our favour today. But then fortune always favours the brave. In football one side has to lose. You can’t do anything about it. Through out the tournament we played well, and so I think we deserved to win this match and the title.’’
A beaming East Bengal captain Saumik Dey was overwhelmed after the match. “I just can’t believe it. We have won and I am the captain.”
Saumik did not want to give much heed to Mohun Bagan’s disallowed goals. “In a high-voltage match like this, you get some bad decisions. Today Bagan was on the rough side, tomorrow we may be there. I don’t want to spoil the mood by thinking about those things.”
An upset Bagan captain Ishfaq Ahmed, who did not play due to a hamstring injury, blamed referee Dinesh Nair for the loss. “Murithala Ali scored a beautiful goal and he ruled it off side. His marching order was very unfair,’’ Ishfaq said.
R Vashum, who scored the winner, was also over the moon. This is my first season in Calcutta and also the first East Bengal versus Mohun Bagan match. I feel so proud. I would also like to thank our coach (Morgan) for all tne good work he has done with this team.
East Bengal: Sandip Nandi, Naoba Singh, Nirmal Chetri, Uga Okpara, Saumik Dey, Reisangmi Vashum, Mehtab Hossain, Harmanjot Singh Khabra (Ravinder Singh 88th), Penn Orji, Robin Singh (Sushanth Mathew 80th), Tolgay Ozebe (Ekene Ikenwa 76th).
Mohun Bagan: Shilton Paul, Kingshuk Debnath, Sagram Mandi, Sk Azim, R Dhanarajan, Ashim Biswas (Jayanta Sen, 75th), Manish Mathani, Diamondstar (Chidi Edeh, 61st), Snehasish Chakraborty, Jose Ramirez Barreto, Subair Murithala Ali.
Referee: Dinesh Nair.
Here are the match videos :