New Delhi: Bengaluru FC and Mohun Bagan set up the Federation Cup final date, winning their respective semi-finals in Cuttack on Sunday. Bengaluru rode on Cameron Watson’s strike to oust beating I-League champions Aizawl FC 1-0 in the first last four clash, while Bagan defeated East Bengal 2-0 in their semis clash.
Darryl Duffy’s 35th-minute header and Balwant Singh’s 84th-minute strike proved to be the difference between the two sides as the defending champions progressed to the final.
East Bengal could have taken the lead as early as the 8th minute but Plaza failed to tap home from close range after Rafique had found the Trinidad & Tobago forward in the box. Three minutes later, Rafique saw his header from inside the box being denied by a fine Debjit save.
Sanjoy Sen’s men gradually grew into the match and took the lead in the when Duffy’s deft header off a Sony Norde cross found the back of the net.
East Bengal dominated possession and shots on goal, while Bagan made sure that the Mariners had their finishing boots. Balwant doubled Bagan’s lead in the 84th minute when he scored after Katsumi Yusa found him in the box.
Earlier, the script for Alberto Roca’s men went right from the kick-off courtesy the early breakthrough. In the eighth minute, Alwyn George was brought down inside the Aizawl FC box by an uncanny challenge and the referee pointed to the spot.
Watson stepped up and slotted the ball into the left bottom corner to give the Blues a solitary goal lead in the eight minute. At the back, the defensive pairing of John Johnson and Sandesh Jhingan gave the Aizawl forwards a torrid time.
In the 12th minute, Kamo was found in the Bengaluru box, but a sweetly timed Johnson tackle robbed him of possession before he could shoot the ball....