Bengaluru FC beats Mohun Bagan to win Federation Cup

C.K. Vineeth, who came on a substitute, scored a spectacular brace as Bengaluru FC won its second Federation Cup and qualified for the AFC Cup.

Bengaluru FC players celebrate their victory against Mohun Bagan in the final match of Hero Federation Cup 2017 at the Barabati stadium, in Cuttack.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

AFC Cup finalist Bengaluru FC redeemed its pride by edging out Mohun Bagan 2-0 in the summit clash and claiming its second Federation Cup crown at the Barabati Stadium here on Sunday.

In the tightly-contested tussle befitting a final, Bengaluru overcame a bit of hard luck to ride on C.K. Vineeth's extra-time brace and bag the prestigious title despite the unavailability of two of key players, Sunil Chhetri and Cameron Watson.

Bengaluru fought bravely even as Bagan maintained possession for most part of the goalless first half. Most importantly, the Blues stuck to their well-planned defensive structure, led by John Johnson, Juanan Fernandez and Sandesh Jhingan, to close the gaps and make Bagan have a go at the goal only through set pieces and long balls.

The stout Bengaluru defence marked Bagan's main weapon, Sony Norde, strongly and brought down the Haitian twice within the first quarter. Norde retaliated by pushing Harmanjot Khabra to invite a yellow card.

Lenny Rodrigues excelled with his supply as Bengaluru, which sparkled with its off the ball running, created some nicely crafted moves through counter-attacks. However, an agile Debjit Majumder was hard to beat under the bar.

Udanta Singh's stylish shot off Eugeneson Lyngdoh’s cross from the right disturbed the net in the 20th minute, but the goal was disallowed as Seiminlen Doungel was marginally offside.

Bagan's best chance came in the half-hour mark when Katsumi Yusa's attempt off a corner was cleared by Jhingan from the goal mouth.

Bengaluru, which witnessed some failed attempts from the industrious Udanta early in the second half, was again caught in the offside trap. Lyngdoh's free-kick from the left was headed by Johnson and kicked in by Juanan, but the effort was flagged, much to Bengaluru’s frustration.

Bagan stepped up its attack and had its chances too. Balwant utilised a Norde pass to fire a long ranger, but Amrinder Singh dived to his right to palm away the threat. Soon, Norde's angled shot missed the target by a whisker.

Amidst free flowing action towards the end of the regulation period, Bagan had a couple of opportunities but could not break the deadlock.

Bengaluru experienced another frustrating moment when Cornell Glen's chip from left hit the right post in the third minute of extra time.

The Blues finally tasted success when C.K. Vineeth's shot from just inside the box deflected off a defender and beat Debjit in the 107th minute. The Keralite, who had replaced Udanta around the hour mark, sealed the match by hitting home again, following a brilliant solo.

The final result: Bengaluru FC 2 (Vineeth 107, 119) beat Mohun Bagan 0.

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