Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], Aug 25 (ANI): In the Durand Cup final, Gokualam Kerala defeated Mohun Bagan 2-1 to claim their first-ever title in the 129th edition of the tournament at Salt Lake Stadium here on Saturday.
Marcus Joseph was the star of the match, scoring on either side of the half-time break. His efforts in the final took his tally to 11 goals in the tournament, a feat that earned him the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball award.
Despite the vociferous support for Bagan, it was Gokulam, who got off on the front foot. Malem Meetei had a chance early on but scuffed his shot wide. Bagan's Spanish defender Francisco Morante was instrumental in keeping the Kerala side out in the early exchanges.
Despite his effort, however, it was Joseph, who opened the scoring in the first-half injury time. Kisekka was played through inside the box and was eventually brought down as the referee pointed to the spot. Joseph made no mistake as he slotted the penalty hard and low, silencing the crowd.
The Trinidad and Tobago striker doubled Gokulam's lead, a few minutes into the second half, as he was played through into the box by Kisekka, and went on to slot it past Bagan keeper Debjit Majumder.
However, the game was far from over, as Mohun Bagan gaffer Kibu Vicuna played his hand right after the second goal, introducing Indian and Spanish midfielders Romario Jesuraj and Francisco Gonzalez.
This tipped the flow of the game in the Bagan's favour, and forward Salvador Martinez finally pulled one goal back a little after the hour mark.
The Kolkata giants kept up the pressure for the entirety of the second half. They saw an even brighter glimmer of hope in the last few minutes, when Gokulam defender Jestin George was shown given his marching order via a second booking, after a miss-timed tackle.
Individual award winners are as follows:Golden Gloves: Ubaid CK (Gokulam Kerala FC)Golden Boot and Golden Ball: Marcus Joseph (Gokulam Kerala FC). (ANI)