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"Celebrating Glory: Mohun Bagan's Historic 17th Durand Cup 2023

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“Celebrating Glory: Mohun Bagan’s Historic 17th Durand Cup 2023

Championship, Dimitri Petratos, Durand Cup, East Bengal, Football, Mohun Bagan, Record-breaking, Soccer, Sports History, Victory

In the penultimate match of the Durand Cup 2023, Mohun Bagan emerged victorious, defeating East Bengal with Dimitri Petratos’s only goal in the 71st minute.

“Celebrating Glory: Mohun Bagan’s Historic 17th Durand Cup 2023 image credit-mykhel

The win gave Mohun Bagan Super Giants their 17th title in Durand Cup history, a remarkable achievement. It was an agonizing wait for the Mariners as their last Durand Cup victory came in the year 2000.

Mohun Bagan’s Australian forward Dimitri Petratos etched his name in the annals of football history with that crucial strike in the 71st minute. It was a tight contest and the odds looked to be in East Bengal’s favor when Mohun Bagan’s Anirudh Thapa received a red card in the 62nd minute, reducing their number to ten players. However, East Bengal failed to capitalize on this advantage.

Mohun Bagan had come very close to the Durand Cup finals in 2004, 2009 and 2019 before, but ultimately lost. The bitter memories of the final defeat to East Bengal in 2004 remained for almost two decades. Yet, this time, he persevered.

Mohun Bagan SG dominated the first half hour of the match, but East Bengal, who reached the final as the only undefeated team, gradually found their rhythm. The tempo of the game increased in the final minutes of the first half, with Mohammed Rakip and Borja Herrera leading a promising counter-attack for East Bengal. However, Nandkumar Shekhar could not get his volley on target.

Sensing the urgency, Mohun Bagan SG attacked from the other end as well. Their best chance in the first half came in the fifth minute of extra time when Dimitri Petratos fired a powerful shot that went over East Bengal goalkeeper and captain Prabhsukhan Gill.

As the first half ended, Mohun Bagan SG were in trouble with three yellow cards issued just before the break. The situation worsened when Anirudh Thapa received a second yellow card in the 62nd minute, leaving Mohun Bagan with ten players.

Interestingly, despite falling behind, Mohun Bagan looked aggressive. It was Dimitri Petratos who made the difference with a powerful left-footed shot from outside the box in the 71st minute. This singular strike was Mohun Bagan’s only shot on target during the entire match.

East Bengal, on the other hand, had six shots on target but faltered at crucial moments and failed to find the net despite getting ten minutes of extra time in the second half.

It is worth noting that East Bengal and Mohun Bagan SG had previously met in the group stage of the Durand Cup 2023, with East Bengal winning 1-0, their first win over their rivals in four years. The Red and Yellow Brigade’s last major trophy came in the Federation Cup in 2012.

The Durand Cup 2023 began on 3 August, the 132nd edition of the tournament featuring 24 teams, an expansion of four teams from the previous year, all competing for the coveted title.

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