East Bengal bow of out competition on penalties to Gokulam Kerala.
Gokulam Kerala confirmed their final birth with a victory over East Bengal on penalties in the Durand Cup Semifinals. The Bengal side took the lead through Samad Samad Mallik in the 19th minute, but it was cancelled out by Marcus Joseph’s injury-time spot-kick in the second half. Gokulam edged East Bengal 4-3 on penalties after 120 minutes of football failed to split the sides, as the scoreline read 1-1.
East Bengal were the better side in the first half, but a sluggish second-half performance sees them hand over the final birth to their opponents. The Red and yellow drew first blood through an exquisite finish from Samad Mallick, who unleashed a shot from 40-yards out to accumulate the first goal of the game.
Chances were not hard to come by as Kisseka missed a sitter from close range, failing to double the lead before the half-time whistle. The second half was tame until the referee blew to the spot in the injury time. Mehtab fouled Irshad inside the penalty box, handing them a glorious chance to level the score within seconds of the full-time whistle.
Marcus Joseph equalled the score in the second half to take the game to extra-time. The Malabarians’ shot-stopper Ubaid made two spectacular saves in the extra time – keeping the scoreline intact after an enthralling game.
Santos and Tondomba missed the spot-kicks for East Bengal, while Malemnganba Meitei will be the most relieved man after failing to convert the penalty for Gokulam Kerala.
Gokulam Kerala will face the winner between Mohun Bagan and Real Kashmir in the Durand Cup final on Saturday.