ISL League Shield: Liston Colaco and Jason Cummings goals seal Mohun Bagan's 2-1 win over Mumbai City FC | Football News - Hindustan Times
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ISL League Shield: Liston Colaco and Jason Cummings goals seal Mohun Bagan's 2-1 win over Mumbai City FC

ByDhiman Sarkar, Kolkata
Apr 15, 2024 10:54 PM IST

The 2-1 win against Mumbai City FC makes Kolkata giants best after ISL10 league phase.

“We did it for the people,” said Dimitri Petratos. Best fans in the league, said Jason Cummings. The Salt Lake stadium thrummed through every minute of this Indian Super League (ISL) joust as Mohun Bagan Super Giant withstood a late strike from Lallianzuala Chhangte, Brendan Hamill’s 91st minute red card to beat Mumbai City FC and win the league shield through goals from Liston Colaco and Cummings. It fetched them 3.5 crore and a berth in Asian Champions League 2.

Mohun Bagan Super Giant players celebrate after beating Mumbai City FC (PTI)
Mohun Bagan Super Giant players celebrate after beating Mumbai City FC (PTI)

Pressure, India coach Igor Stimac says, sits lightly on Colaco. In a tight, bruising game, Colaco met Anirudh Thapa’s reverse pass and headed into the upright leaving right-back Mehtab Singh trailing. That was in the 20th minute. Eight minutes later, he put Mohun Bagan ahead with a beautiful shot. This after he had turned Singh twice once Petratos found him.

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From an over an hour before kick-off the crowd was the 12th player. Not often is it like this in club football in India but Monday was no ordinary evening. Never before had Mohun Bagan won the trophy that glistened before kickoff and the determination they showed in wanting that was reflected in how the crowd pulled their weight behind the team. “Come on, let’s do it together,” said a tifo. In letter and spirit was the message followed.

Near half-time, Chhangte slid in but could only shin a Jorge Pereyra Diaz delivery. He made amends with a superb strike in the 89th minute from a quick corner-kick but the visiting team was second best in a game they needed to draw to keep the league shield. By playing the team’s heartbeat Joni Kauko deeper in midfield, Mohun Bagan neutralised the threat of Alberto Noguera. It also gave Thapa the freedom he has desired all season, to play closer to goal. Colaco, Manvir Singh and skipper Subhasish Bose were the first among equals in a game where every Mohun Bagan player put in a solid shift. “We wanted this desperately,” said Petratos.

Mumbai City FC pressured midway in the second half but it seemed over when Cummings scored after he and Petratos exchanged long-distance passes. Cummings has a thing for scoring in big games, he did it in the A-League final last year and he showed control and poise to slot home in the 80th minute. Chhangte then silenced a throbbing cauldron for whom time had slowed down. But stopped once by Mumbai City at this stage, the green-and-maroon brigade was not to be denied another time. Their first win against Mumbai in eight attempts meant that all club trophies this season have come to Kolkata.

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