“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the fighting spirit to continue that counts” – perhaps that was the motto of Team Mohun Bagan when they took on Dempo Sports Club today in the semi final of Federation Cup. Amidst much of media attention and general interest to an age old national issue, a determined effort was expected from both the teams and the result was a nail biting finish after 120 minutes of battle followed by the penalty shoot out where Mohun Bagan emerged as the winner!! Kudos to the great game of football and hats off to the players, officials and fans, who fought it out till their last blood!!
If you believe in the proverb ‘morning shows the day’ then today is the day when you are wrong again as Ranty Martin of Dempo found the net within 2 minutes of the opening half before Mohun Bagan defense could consolidate and settle down. This was, indeed, a waking call for the team and the battle started there off. The same eleven, who were in the starting line up in the historic win against Salgaokar SC, came up with vengeance and started putting pressure on Dempo’s defense. However, Bagan failed to take complete control in the mid-field as Diamondstar and Ishfaq were somewhat off-colored today. As a result the ace strikers were not able to crack the defense of Dempo. A change in strategy was inevitable and Bagan’s coach responded with two changes – Snehasis came in place on Ishfaq (36 mts) and then Chidi came in place of Diamondstar (51 mts). And the ailing patient suddenly got fresh oxygen as Chiddi found the net on 65th minute (1-1). Direct free kick was taken by Chidi from edge of the penalty box and goalkeeper was spectator only as he saw the ball kissed the net.
As the score got leveled, suddenly the body contact game became more physical as the players became more desperate to break the jinx, which resulted couple of warnings for both the teams. As the game progresses, the battle of nerves intensified and Shilton showed his class by saving his team on number of occasions.
Two of India’s best quality teams battled it out till 120 minutes before it went for the match in tie breaker. Just before end of the first half Sangram Mukherjee the tie-breaker specialist came in the field in the place of classic Shilton Pal. Shilton Pal, who was literally "wall of china" under the goal post in the match till 117th minute and saved his team from sure slaughter. Shilton was looked really upset that time and he left the field having a standing ovation from the crowd of Barabati.
And in the Tie-Breaker Barreto, Chiddi, Gouranga, Snehasis and Muritala scored for Bagan while Ranty Beto and Godwin Franco scored for Dempo but Kalu’s shot was saved by Sangram Mukherjee. Bagan reached to the final of 32nd Federation Cup and will face arch rival Kingfisher East Bengal on Saturday, 2nd October. No doubt that the excellence of two goal keepers lift Bagan to the 32nd Federation Cup Final.
Mohun Bagan: Shilton Paul (Sangram Mukherjee, 119th), Kingshuk Debnath, Sangram Mandi, Sk Azim, R Dhanarajan, Ishfaq Ahmed (Snehasish Chakraborty 35th), Gauranga Dutta, Manish Maithani, Diamondstar (Edeh Chidi, 52nd), Jose Ramirez Barreto, Subair Murithala Ali.
Dempo: Laxmikant Kattimani, Ualeriano Rebello, Debabrata Roy, Dominic Roronha, John Dias,Peter Carualho (Joe Rodrigues, 72nd), Nicolau Borges (Godwin Franco, 92nd), Joaquim Abranches, Ranty Martins, Beto, Ogba Kalu.
Referee: Mohammed Kamil (Delhi).
|Today’s Match – Fact Sheet At A Glance
|Dempo Sports Club
|Kick off time
|No. of goal Mohun Bagan scored
|6 ( 1 + 5)
|4 (1 + 3)
|Number of yellow card shown to MB Players
|2 (Shilton, Gouranga)
|Number of red cards shown to MB players
|Average age of 1st 11
|Average age of the squad (registered for Fed cup)
|1st half Score
|0 – 1
|Style of formation
|4 – 4 – 2
|Snehasis in place of Ishfaq (36 mt)
|Chiddi in place of Diamondstar (51 mt)
|Sangram in place of Shilton (118 mt)