Bengaluru FC won the 2022 Durand Cup with a 2-1 win over Mumbai City FC in a superb final at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata on Sunday, adding the one Indian club football trophy missing from their cabinet.
Sivasakthi Narayanan gave Bengaluru the lead early in the first half, but that was cancelled out by Apuia. But Mumbai City's frailty in defending set-pieces came back to haunt them as Alan Costa's powerful header midway through the second half proved to be the winner. Costa rose highest from a Sunil Chhetri corner to seal the deal.
After winning the I-League (2014 and 2016), Federation Cup (2015 and 2017), Super Cup (2018) and the Indian Super League (2019), Simon Grayson's side completed the set. This Bengaluru success also gave captain Sunil Chhetri another bit of history as the Durand Cup was only trophy in India that had eluded him thus far.
9 years, 7 trophies for Bengaluru FC ��
The Durand Cup is their first trophy in three years. pic.twitter.com/mvu9czVtvK
- ESPN India (@ESPNIndia) September 18, 2022
In the final, Sivasakthi, Bengaluru's top-scorer in the tournament, was the first to strike with an immaculate chip over Phurba Lachenpa, latching on to a long pass from Aleksandr Jovanovic, as he gave Mourtada Fall the slip before the finish.
Against the run of play though, Mumbai levelled via Apuia, who was on hand to slot home a rebound after Gurpreet Singh Sandhu didn't deal well enough with Greg Stewart's shot from range.
Mumbai began the second half with clear attacking intent, and had big chances through Bipin Singh and Lallianzuala Chhangte, but didn't take them.
BFC captain Sunil Chhetri was then denied by Lachenpa after he was played through one-on-one by a stunning chipped pass from Jayesh Rana. Chhetri, though, made amends right away with an excellent delivery from the resulting corner that was powered home by Costa, who rose above Vinit Rai.
Alberto Noguera's introduction made some difference for Mumbai, as the Spaniard began to pull the strings in midfield and created openings, most notably when he weaved past a slew of Bengaluru defenders and curled a right-footed shot against the upright.
Bengaluru had a huge chance on the counter themselves as Sivasakthi played Chhetri through with a sensational cross by the skipper was stopped by another excellent Lachenpa save.
But as time wore on, Mumbai huffed and puffed, throwing their bodies forward towards the end, but the Bengaluru defence, led by Sandesh Jhingan, stood firm and kept them at bay and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu had barely a save to make in goal.