Durand Cup: Mohammedan Sporting edge out defending champions Gokulam Kerala
Kolkata, September 23, 2021
Local favourites Mohammedan Sporting edged out defending champions Gokulam Kerala 1-0 to move into the semi-finals of the 130th Durand Cup semi-finals, at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) here on Thursday.
They will now face Bengaluru United in their semi-final tie on September 27. The I-League 2nd division side have received a bye to the last four, after their quarter-final opponents Army Red pulled out of the tournament owing to Covid cases.
It was Marcus Joseph who broke Gokulam hearts by scoring the match-winner for Mohammedan in the 44th minute of the quarter-final.
Under head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese, Gokulam have built a reputation for being a free-scoring team. They were the highest goal scorers in the group stage with 10 goals. However, against Mohammedan today, their midfield and attack appeared to be toothless.
Chances were few and far between, and the deadlock was broken in the 44th minute as a result of a Mohammedan counter-attack. At the other end, Bouba had a goal flagged offside only a minute earlier but as is often the nature of the game, Trinidadian Joseph capped off an excellent move to hand the home side the advantage.
Gokulam did very little to alter the outcome in the second half but with the margin just being one goal, the final few minutes were intense. Mohammedan did enough, though, to hold on and reach the last four.