Mumbai City advances to the Durand Cup final after defeating Mohammedan Sporting 1-0.
It was a story of lost opportunities for both clubs, and just as the first semifinal was about to go into overtime, Mumbai scored the crucial goal in the last minute.
Mumbai City FC defeated Mohammedan Sporting 1-0 thanks to a late strike from Bipin Singh, advancing them to their first Durand Cup final.
Both sides had wasted opportunities throughout the game, and just as the first semifinal was about to go into overtime, Mumbai scored the game-winning goal in the last seconds. The former Indian Super League winners Mumbai made their Durand Cup debut this year, while the Black Panthers, who finished second the previous year and twice won the trophy in 1940 and 2013, made their first appearance.
After Scottish attacker Greg Stewart started the move from the middle, the Indian frontline of Lallianzuala Chhangte and Bipin Singh executed it flawlessly. Despite having a free shot at the goal, Chhangte opted to send a delicate left-footed cross from the right to a charging Bipin, who only needed to touch it in to give the Des Buckingham team the victory.
Both sides wasted at least six opportunities while playing at their most careless. Mandar Rao Desai and Gurkirat Singh, in the opinion of the Islanders, lacked synergy up front and squandered some simple opportunities. Mohammedan also had their share of opportunities while playing in front of a sizable home audience of roughly 15,000 people, but players like Marcus Joseph and Nuriddin Davronov never presented a danger.
Gurkirat had the finest opportunity of the first half when Bipin drove in from the left and supplied a cross, but the strong striker for the Islanders missed to tap in from close range. After a great team play including Marcus and Faiaz, Mohammedan started the second half with the same vigour. Five minutes after the restart, the ball dropped pleasantly for Abhash Thapa, but he failed to test goalkeeper Lachenpa with a dreadfully mistimed connection.