Bipin Singh scored in the final minute of the regulation time to help Mumbai City FC beat local favourite Mohammedan Sporting SC by a solitary goal in the first semifinal of the 131st Durand Cup, at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Wednesday.
The match saw an even contest with Mohammedan Sporting enjoying some moments of dominance before the former Indian Super League champion scored the winner in the 90th minute to reach the title round in its maiden appearance in the tournament.
Mumbai City FC will take on the winner of the second semifinal –between reigning ISL champion Hyderabad FC and Bengaluru FC – in the title clash scheduled on Sunday.
Bipin Singh, currently one of India's finest wingers in business, found the net after an excellent combination between Scottish forward Greg Stewart and Lallianzuala Chhangte, who et him up for the goal.
The barren first half reflected the lack of incisiveness in attack as both teams failed to keep a single shot on target. Mohammedan Sporting started on a breezy note and dominated the action in the first quarter of the match. But Mumbai City FC found its way back in the second quarter but could not create the chance to find the lead.
The change of ends saw both the opponents showing more purpose but the goal continued to remain elusive as both Mohammedan Sporting and Mumbai City struggled to finish the few openings happening in the boxes on either end.
Mumbai City had one good chance in the 60th minute but the Mohammedan Sporting goalkeeper Zothanmawia came up with a spectacular save as Stewart tried to curl the ball past him. Marcus Joseph had a fine chance in the 65th minute to put Sporting in the lead but it was the Mumbai City custodian Phurba Lachenpa’s turn to send the ball out of harm's way.
Just when the match appeared to be headed for extra-time, came the Mumbai City attack that Bipin Singh converted to decide the match in the Islanders’ favour.
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