New Delhi:Mohun Bagan's faint title hopes went up in smoke after losing 1-2 to Mahindra United in the final round match of the I-League, domestic top-tier competition, here on Thursday.
Tied with Churchill on 43 points before this match, Mohun Bagan needed to beat Mahindra and hope the Goan side either lose or drew with Mohammedan Sporting in another match at Margao to win the title.
But, the Kolkata giants, who were without four key players due to double bookings, were listless for most part of the match at Ambedkar Stadium.
They finished runners-up on 43 points, three behind Churchill Brothers who won their maiden I-League title after thrashing Mohammedan Sporting 6-2 at Margao.
Mohun Bagan tied with Sporting Clube de Goa but finished second on better goal difference (of plus 10 as against seven) after the Goan side beat Air India 2-1 in another simultaneous match at Gurgaon.
Mahindra were the deserved winners and they had their hitman in Nigerian Chidi Edeh (42nd and 60th) who pumped in two goals, one on either side of the breather, before second half substitute Branco Cardozo reduced the margin for Mohun Bagan in the last minute of the regulation time.