In a thrilling encounter at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, Mohun Bagan Super Giant emerged victorious against East Bengal, winning the Durand Cup 2023 trophy with a score of 1-0. The hero of the day was none other than Dimitri Petratos, whose goal in the 71st minute secured the historic win for Mohun Bagan SG.
This victory marked a significant milestone in Durand Cup history, as Mohun Bagan SG became the first team ever to claim 17 titles. Their arch-rivals, East Bengal, with 16 titles, had to settle for second place.
The match took an unexpected turn when Anirudh Thapa of Mohun Bagan SG received a red card in the 62nd minute, leaving his team with only 10 players on the field. However, East Bengal failed to capitalize on this advantage.
Throughout the game, Mohun Bagan SG displayed remarkable resilience and determination, even with a numerical disadvantage. Their Australian forward, Dimitri Petratos, proved to be the game-changer with a brilliant left-footed shot from outside the box that found the back of the net.
Despite East Bengal’s six shots on target, their inability to finish in the final third proved costly. They couldn’t break Mohun Bagan’s defense and were left goalless, even during the 10 minutes of extra time in the second half.
The first half of the game remained goalless, with both teams showing flashes of brilliance. Mohun Bagan SG had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the fifth minute of extra time, but Dimitri Petratos couldn’t quite control the power on his shot.
As reigning Indian Super League champions, Mohun Bagan SG showcased their attacking prowess throughout the match. Their relentless pursuit of victory paid off with Petratos’ goal, which ultimately secured their 17th Durand Cup title.
This win was a momentous occasion for Mohun Bagan SG, as their previous Durand Cup title came back in 2000. Despite reaching the finals in 2004, 2009, and 2019, they had faced defeat on all three occasions, including a loss to East Bengal in the 2004 final.
The Durand Cup 2023, which featured 24 teams, commenced on August 3 and marked its 132nd edition. The tournament’s increased participation added to the excitement, and Mohun Bagan SG’s historic victory was the highlight of this prestigious competition. East Bengal, on the other hand, continues their quest for a major trophy, with their last major triumph dating back to 2012 at the Federation Cup.