Not once, not twice, not even five times! Thirteen times Federation Champion! Mohun Bagan win the 30th Federation Cup 2008 today beating Dempo SC 1-0, courtesy a Jose Ramirez Barreto goal in the 68th minute of the match!
The Salt Lake Stadium today was draped in Green and Maroon flags as if expecting the favourites, Mohun Bagan AC to blow away 2004 champions Dempo SC and as a matter of fact, that is exactly what happened toay. Infact Bagan took sweet revenge of their defeat against Dempo in the 2004 Fed Cup final in Goa and that just made the moment all the more special.
Dempo boasted the best midfield in the country, starring Clifford Miranda, Climax Lawrence, Beto but Mohun Bagan it seemed caught the match by its neck and literally strangled Dempo for the entire 90 mins and won the Fed Cup quite convincingly.
Dempo can hard;y be said to have played any football today as Karim reading the game plan of Dempo deployed Marcos to tackle Beto. Marcos literally put Beto in a ball-tight container and succesfully cut of the supply line for the deadly striker Ranti, who fit of rage, committed an ugly foul, got the marching orders an then before leaving the field, slapped a photographer!
The entire match, Marcos worked tremendously in the midfield and to give him rightful company was Ishfaq Ahmed, the former Dempo man. Even Lalkamal played his heart out and Tulunga, after a long while was beautifully operating on the right flank.
The Defense was an impervious membrane, with Dipak and Masih in the Central defense and Habibur and Mohunraj on the two flanks. Though Dempo pressurised Mohunraj and got in with a few chances from the left, Sangram was ready to come off his line an block any shot that came his way.
Barreto was inexplicable today, playing balls with Tulunga, Puia, Ishfaq, Marcos and sending in balls with lovely foresight.
In the first half, Bagan started attacking right from the word go and did not let Dempo settle down even for a moment. Marcos kept a hard watch on Beto & Co. while Rakesh Masih and Dipak Mondal kept Ranti Martins quiet. Bagan created a few chances in the half but completely controlled the match and took it away from Dempo.
In the second half Mohun Bagan came out with a much stronger conviction to win the match and in the 68th minute, from a corner, Habibur headed the ball goalwards and Barreto punched a powerful shot to hit the top corner of the goal.Video of the Goal against Dempo
Mohun Bagan even after scoring the goal didnot become too defensive but defended the goal well to win the Federation Cup.