Kolkata: Mohammedan Sporting came from behind and overcame a spirited challenge from Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club, emerging from a penalty shoot-out with the IFA Shield for the first time since 1971.
Playing in front of a frenzied 40,000-odd crowd here on Saturday, both teams were locked 1-1 at extra time.
Substitute goalkeeper Naseem Akhtar, who came in place of the injured Luis Barreto in extra time in a fine move by Mohammedan coach Sanjoy Sen, thwarted Didarul Haque’s spotkick for a 4-3 win in the shoot-out.
Down 0-1 in the 28th minute after Sony Norde’s curling freekick, Mohammedan made a comeback at the stroke of halftime when Mehrajuddin Wadoo made it 1-1 minute to spark a celebration.
Both teams were reduced to 10 players in the 82nd minute when referee Santosh Kumar showed red cards to Luciano Sabrosa of Mohammedan and Norde of Dhanmondi after both were engaged in a tussle.
That was a big setback for Dhanmondi as Mohammedan slowly came back into the game. Both teams wasted opportunities in extra time, forcing the tie-breaker where Khanthang Paite, Manish Maithani, Nirmal Chettri and Wadoo scored for Mohammedan while Josimar hit the bar.
For Dhanmondi, Wedson Anselme, Nasir Uddin Chowdhury, Mohammad Yasin Khan converted their chances while Ali Amisu shot away.
Required to block the shot to emerge winners, Mohammedan’s stand-in custodian Naseem did just that and denied Didarul a goal to shatter the hopes of the many Bangladeshis who had come to support their side.
Dhanmondi were chasing history to become the first team from Bangladesh to win the 118-year-old title. (PTI)