The Blues got the better of the Islanders as they won their first trophy of the season in an end-to-end match.

Newly-appointed Simon Grayson had the perfect start to life as his side Bengaluru FC beat Mumbai City FC 2-1 in the Durand Cup 2022 final. Des Buckingham’s side were unlucky as Alan Costa and co. defended as a unit and the likes of Greg Stewart could not undo them. The match started off in a balanced fashion as the two hues of blue clashed and responded well.

Bengaluru FC went ahead against the run of play after matching waves of pressure from Mumbai City FC to open the scoring. In-form striker Sivasakthi went shoulder-to-shoulder with the hulking Mourtada Fall who could have easily done better to prevent the youngster from chipping the ball over Phurba.

Mumbai City doubled up on the Bengaluru FC defence afterwards and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu found himself on the end of a rasping shot from Greg Stewart. Apuia picked up the custodian’s palmed-away shot and slotted it in calmly to equalise for the Islanders. The two side headed into the break in level terms but Alan Costa had other plans.

Bengaluru’s big Brazilian rose highest to meet Chhetri’s pinpoint corner in the 61st minute to restore their lead. All the Blues had to do next was run down the clock, and they did exactly that. Grayson’s men did have one or two more chances but their intelligent and compact defending saw them ward off Chhangte, Stewart, and Bipin effectively.

They did give away a number of unnecessary free-kicks but Buckingham’s men could not showcase last season’s set-piece prowess. After an additional six minutes of play, the full-time whistle was blown much to Bengaluru FC’s delight as the club won their first-ever Durand Cup.

Here the players ratings from the Mumbai City FC vs Bengaluru FC clash in Durand Cup 2022 final.

Mumbai City FC (By Riddhiman Sarkar)

Phurba Lachenpa – 6.5

Made himself big as he prevented Chhetri from scoring with an outstanding tip-over from point-blank range. Could do nothing to prevent Sivasakthi’s opener or Alan Costa’s thumping header.

Sanjeev Stalin – 6

Bombed up and down the right flank and often moved into the winger position as Chhangte moved inside and emptied space for him. Despite his tireless work, Stalin could not open up the dogged Bengaluru defence as they put two markers on him and marked him well.

Mourtada Fall – 5

The towering Senegalese captain was visibly shaky as he missed a few challenges and went into the book in the second half. Could have done better to prevent Sivasakthi from scoring the opener. Came off in the 65th minute for Mehtab Singh as Buckingham decided not to take a risk given his disciplinary status.

Rostyn Griffiths – 6

Griffiths was the more composed of the pairing at the heart of the Islanders’ defense. Picked off individual runners and led Mumbai from the back as he held his ground. 

Mandar Rao Dessai – 5.5

Made a few good runs but was dazed by the interplay between the Bengaluru FC forwards. Went off for Vikram Partap Singh in the 89th minute.

Apuia Ralte – 7

Held the ball up and cycled it masterfully as he played in a more advanced role in a three-man midfield. Stroked in Mumbai City’s equaliser after Greg Stewart’s curler was spilled by Gurpreet and fell to him. Left the fray for Gurkirat Singh in the 73rd minute.

Vinit Rai – 6

Rai looked a tad bit uncomfortable towards the beginning of the second half after a satisfactory output in the first. Had a good chance in the twilight of the first half as he collected a great pass from Greg Stewart following some scintillating buildup play but was far too wide to place in well. Went off for Alberto Noguera in the 65th minute.

Ahmed Jahouh – 6

The Moroccan magician was not at his best but managed to show patches of brilliance. However, his inconsistent showing often put him on the back foot as he had to slide in and recover the ball after losing it.

Lallianzuala Chhangte – 6

The Durand Cup top scorer was quieter than usual when his team most needed him. Chhangte was effective with his dribbling and got a few shooting opportunities as well, but nothing fruitful came off it.

Greg Stewart – 7

Extremely clever play from the Englishman to run into half-spaces and draw plenty of fouls. His direct style of play with his dribbling finesse and laser-guided passing saw him wriggle into the most dangerous positions and generate quite a few chances. His first-half shot caught Gurpreet off-guard as Apuia poked in the rebound. 

Bipin Singh – 5.5

Not very tactful with the inversion of his runs as he failed to get a single shot on target. Came closest when Apuia put in a slow delivery but he glanced the ball wide of the near post, failing to test Gurpreet Singh Sindhu.

Substitutes 

Alberto Noguera – 6.5

Provided Stewart with the perfect partnership as on one instance he picked up the Englishman’s back flick and glided past one Ramires before being chopped down. The right-footed maestro dropped deep and kept regulating play to keep generating usual and unusual avenues of attack for the Islanders.

Mehtab Singh – 6.5

Did not go to ground easily and provided much-needed defensive stability to allow Mumbai to go forward more often. 

Gurkirat Singh – 6 

Tried to be adventurous with his direct running at the Bengaluru FC defence but was not very effective.

Vikram Partap Singh – 6

An 89th-minute introduction was not enough for the energetic winger to make an impact. Although Vikram earned Des Buckingham’s men a free-kick in the dying minutes, they could not make anything substantial out of it.

Bengaluru FC (By Souvari Paul)

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu – 7

It was a very good game for Gurpreet as he played his role very well and kept the Mumbai attackers at bay. He organised Bengaluru’s defence from the back to ensure that the team did not concede their 2nd. 

Prabir Das – 8

Prabir Das made excellent runs on the right side and kept aiding Bengaluru FC in their attacks. He also kept the right side of BFC’s defence stable.

Sandesh Jhingan – 7.5 

Aided by the overall good game of his team, Sandesh played fairly well and provided solidity at the base of BFC’s defence. 

Aleksander Jovanovic – 7

Jovanovic was perhaps the most underwhelming player in BFC’s midfield today. Yet, in absolute terms, it was a good game for him as he actively did all his midfield duties.  

Alan Costa – 8.5 

Alan Costa was a standout player today. He was rock-solid at the back and also scored the team’s winning goal.

Naorem Roshan Singh – 8

Naorem Roshan was on fire today. He kept on making forward runs and kept Mumbai defenders on their toes. He also played his defensive role well.

Bruno Ramires – 8.5

Bruno was the best player in Bengaluru’s midfield. Almost all the attacks went through him. He controlled the pace of the game and contributed both defensively and offensively. 

Jayesh Rane – 7.5

Jayesh had a pretty good outing in the midfield. He was a part of all of Bengaluru’s attacks. He ensured that the midfield of the team remained active. 

Sivasakthi Narayanan – 9

Sivasakthi was arguably the best player today. He scored one and created numerous chances which were not converted. He persistently kept Mumbai City defenders on the backfoot and ensured Bengaluru FC’s maiden Durand Cup title. 

Roy Krishna – 6.5 

With the quality he possesses, Roy Krishna could have had a better game. Especially with the midfield playing so well, he missed on scoring himself.

Sunil Chhetri – 6.5

Sunil Chhetri had a mixed outing today. He was a part of all of BFC’s significant attacks. It was from his cross that Alan Costa scored. However, he missed a few clear chances of scoring himself.

Substitutes 

Parag Shrivas – 6.5

After coming on as a sub for Costa, Parag ensured that Mumbai was not able to equalize. He partnered well with Jhingan for around half an hour. 

Rohit Kumar – 6

Rohit played his role as a substitute in an effective manner to ensure the team’s victory.

Hira Mondal – 6.5

Hira did his defensive duties for a limited period of around 15 minutes. He played quite well in the period and kept the opposition attackers under check. 

Udanta Singh – 7

After coming on in the 79th minute, Udanta infused pace on the right flank. However, he was brought on to ensure their lead, which he was able to do well.

Namgyal Bhutia – 5.5

Namgyal came on for around 5 minutes. There was not much for him to do except defend, which he did quite effectively.

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