I-League Media Team
BENGALURU: Incessant rains in the Garden City failed to dampen the spirit of thousands of supporters who turned up to the stadium hours before kick-off. The BFC chants were evenly replied by the Mariners who travelled across the country to witness history. Crowd attendance reached the all-time high of 22,000.
Host Bengaluru FC started the game attacking from right to left.
Bagan forced a corner right at the first minute of the game. For Bengaluru, A Bengaluru player was tripped in front of the box by defender Kingshuk, a freekick was awarded, which went vain.
Match pressure on a high occasion like this slept into the nerves of both teams, many playing in such a big occasion.
After fast-paced first 15 minutes which was quite difficult to play on heavy ground conditions, Bagan started to play a holding game.
Boya, playing exceptionally well with the Bagan attacking front kept Bengaluru defense alert. However, Bagan failed to capitalize the set pieces in the first half.
In 39th minute, Boya’s pass to Sony, and a long run and powerful header almost got the goal for Bagan. The ball hit the post where goalkeeper Ralte was out of position.
Joy of the goal was reverted for the host team when Bengaluru got a corner in the next minute. A powerful header by John Johnson from Lyngdoh’s corner gave the hosts the much needed lead. What an occasion Johnson chose to score the first goal of this season!
Bagan got an opportunity to equalize in the added time of the first half when they went all out. A feeble shot from Balwant enabled Johnson to comeup with a brilliant goal-line save.
Heavy rain in the first 15 minutes of second half, made extremely difficult for Bagan come back to the game, though they had more share of attacks.
Constant attack yielded the much needed equalizer – Sony’s corner gave the Bello equalizer goal through a header, eventually McDowell Mohun Bagan lifted the coveted Hero I-League trophy after 13 long years.
Hero of The Match: Bello Rasaq (MMB)