Bagan beat Dempo, in final | sports | Hindustan Times
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Bagan beat Dempo, in final

Mohun Bagan overcame an early deficit to oust reigning I-League champions Dempo here on Thursday and set up a final clash with East Bengal in the 32nd Federation Cup. The season's first Kolkata Derby is on Saturday.

sports Updated: Oct 01, 2010 00:58 IST

Mohun Bagan overcame an early deficit to oust reigning I-League champions Dempo here on Thursday and set up a final clash with East Bengal in the 32nd Federation Cup. The season's first Kolkata Derby is on Saturday.

Introduced in the 118th minute with tie-breakers looming large at the Barabati Stadium, Mohun Bagan goalie Sangram Mukherjee saved Ogba Kalu's shot in the shootout to give the Kolkata giants an advantage.

Subair Murithala Ali then completed a five-goal routine in the tie-breaker to extend Dempo's jinx in the tournament they have won only once. That was in 2004 and Dempo striker Cristiano Junior died after a heart attack on the field.

Coming on as a 52nd minute substitute, Edeh Chidi's brilliant free-kick fetched Mohun Bagan's equaliser. In the middle of a superb goalscoring run that began with four strikes against ONGC, Ranty Martins put Dempo ahead with an on-the-run left-footer after Mohun Bagan central defender Sheikh Azeem's attempted back-heel clearance failed spectacularly and freed the Dempo striker.

Mohun Bagan's central defensive pair of Sagram Mandi and Azeem let Martins in the clear in the 75th minute but the Nigerian blasted over. Three minutes later, Martins sneaked past Gouranga Dutta but was denied by Shilton Paul. Goalie Peter Shilton then made a reflex save to keep out a snap try from Martins after Kalu and Beto had split the Mohun Bagan defence wide open. With the even contest undecided in extra-time it was down to the lottery of a shootout. Sangram and his mates kept their nerve while Dempo faltered just that wee bit.