Gokulam Kerala FC are going to fight it out against Mohun Bagan AC in the final of the ongoing Durand Cup 2019 at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on August 24.
The Mariners who have been ordinary throughout the tournament rallied to beat Real Kashmir FC in the semi-final thanks to a brace in extra-time by VP Suhair. Gokulam Kerala FC won the semi-final through the penalties as they could not break the deadlock in the extra-time against a 10-man Quess East Bengal.
Preview, Prediction and Schedule
The Mariners have not played up to their standards throughout the tournament as they have been very inconsistent in their display.
In the semi-final, they had the momentum from the start of the match. Mohun Bagan were attacking at regular intervals and they mostly controlled the game in the first-half.
Joseba Beitia who has become an asset for the century-old club came close to scoring in the 14th minute as he attempted a long-range shot from the edge of the box which made the opponent goalkeeper pull off a superb block.
The Kashmir team also could have broken the deadlock in the first-half but Subhash Singh's brilliant strike went wide. Finally, the Mariners found the back of the net as Spanish striker Salva Chamorro opened the scoring in the 42nd minute from a Gurjinder cross.
In the second-half also the story was the same as the Mariners were dominating and at the 50-minute mark Romario Jesuraj came close to give Mohun Bagan a two-goal cushion but his shot went above the crossbar.
The visitors started to get back in the game after the hour mark and they finally equalised in the dying moments of the match as Ivorian striker Gnohere Krizo netted the equaliser to give some relief to the Kashmir fans.
But Kibu Vicuna's men outplayed the visitors in extra-time as VP Suhair sealed the match with a brace to take Mohun Bagan in the final of the century-old tournament.
The Mariners have to work on their defence if they want to win the final as it has been split open by the opponents in the tournament.
On the other hand, Gokulam Kerala went into the final riding on a hard-earned victory against Quess East Bengal.
The Malabarians were pretty much off-colour in the first-half of the semi-final as their defence was continuously troubled by regular attacks of the Red and Gold brigade.
The home team got the lead in the 18th minute with Samad Ali Mallick scoring a blinder. In the second-half, the Kerala-based team started to attack frequently and finally broke the deadlock in the dying minutes of the match as Marcus Joseph found the back of the net from the spot.
They could not break through the resilient East Bengal defence during extra-time even though the Kolkata-based team were playing with 10 men. Finally in the penalty-shootouts, due to the heroics of goalkeeper Ubaid, the Malabarians got their ticket to the finals.
Trinidad and Tobago striker Marcus Joseph has been in prolific form for Gokulam and he needs to perform well if they want to lift the coveted trophy.
Mohun Bagan are definitely the favourites to win the tournament but the Malabarians have been the dark horse of the event and they could produce a major upset.
The Bagan defence needs to mark Marcus Joseph well so that the in-form striker does not become a threat for the hosts. The fixture can go into the penalties or the Mariners might win it by a lone goal.
The Mohun Bagan AC-Gokulam Kerala FC match is scheduled to start at 5 PM IST.
TV listings, Live Streaming and how to watch in India
The match will be telecasted on Star Sports 3, Star Sports 1 Bangla and for online live streaming, viewers can use Hotstar.