East Bengal lift Durand Cup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/F/Football.jpg' class='caption'> An injury hit East Bengal have beaten favourites and 16-time winners Mohun Bagan 2-1 in the finals of the 117th Durand Cup football tournament in Delhi.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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New Delhi:

Riding on a superb goal in injury time by skipper Chandan Das, East Bengal regained the prestigious Durand Cup after edging past arch-rivals Mohun Bagan 2-1 today. Chandan's brace (24th and 92nd) helped East Bengal snatch the win. But Bagan were always in control, especially in the second half when the NFL champions struggled to penetrate the strong Bagan midfield and defence. Today's win put East Bengal alongside Bagan with 16 Durand Cup wins. The two sides are also level as runners-up, losing in the final 10 times. The winners got a purse of Rs five lakh while the losers got Rs 2.5 lakh. East Bengal took the lead when referee P K Bose awarded a penalty pulling up Basudeb Mondal for a tackle on Alvito D'Cunha inside the box. Bagan equalised in the 76th minute after dominating play for long periods when a free kick by Noel Wilson from near the half line was accidentally headed into his own goal by East Bengal's Brazilian defender Douglas Santos. In the end, Douglas' escaped with his blunder when Chandan scored with a beauty from the end of the box after Nigerian forward Earnest Jeremiah did the spadework. The winning goal came off a superb counter attack by Jeremiah who for the first time got past from the close marking of Noel Wilson. (With PTI inputs)

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