Water is wet, leaves are green, sky is blue and Mohun Bagan just won another trophy. Sounds simple right? Well, for the un-initiated looking at the fact that a team just won it's 17th Durand Cup, they might think it was an easy and routine feat. Well, not really. This triumph was special, more than some of the previous versions. Why you may ask? Our fans returned to the stadium after 3 long years, to support our mother club, to cheer our warriors on the pitch. Having the most expensive team in Indian football was a pressure big enough, add to that the demand of millions of MohunBaganis to win at any cost. Sure that's a lot of pressure. And add to that, a defeat in the first derby of the season itself!! Still sounds easy? Here's the story, the fairy tale, a tale of triumph and bravery, of undying spirit, all wrapped by the love for one club, our Mohun Bagan. Read on.....


Mohun Bagan were placed in Group A of the Durand Cup along with Bangladesh Army team, Punjab FC and arch rivals East Bengal. We began our campaign 3rd August against Bangladesh Army at the VYBK stadium. Mohun Bagan ran riots in that game winning 5-0 against a relatively weaker and out of sorts Bangladesh Army team. The team, managed by Bastab Ray mainly consisted of the youngsters who were playing in the ongoing CFL tournament. A good game from the likes of Liston, Manvir, Suhail et all saw us take the full points in front of the returning fans.

Next up, Punjab FC. A more balanced and formidable opponent. All eyes were on Juan Ferrando, who was returning after guiding the club to the ISL trophy last season. Mohun Bagan were solid, if not especially fancy. Captain Subhasish took the arm band after the departure of Pritam Kotal. And he tasted victory in his first game as captain. Hugo Boumous was simply superb yet again proving why he's probably the best foreign player to ever grace the ISL. The win was thus secured, but fans were still craving for some fluid attacking football that this team is capable of. But, their wait just got prolonged with what happened next.


A packed VYBK. Debuts from many high profile signings. Everyone expected Mohun Bagan to decimate East Bengal on derby day. But the football Gods had other plans. On a rain soaked day, Mohun Bagan lost by a solitary goal to East Bengal.

The match was marred by many controversies like time wasting and crowd violence. But what happened outside the pitch is what boiled the Mariners' blood. Our team bus was attacked and harassed by a section of East Bengal fans. Players were abused, fans were abused. Mariners could do nothing but keep their heads down.

They say in life you get a second chance. Karma gives it back to everyone. But the big question now was, will we even qualify? East Bengal won the group and the only way we could go through was by the virtue of being best second placed team. Mohammedan FC gave us a scare, almost pulling off the impossible against Jamshedpur FC. But destiny had other plans. Thus Mohun Bagan went through by the slimmest of margins.


Mohun Bagan drew Mumbai City FC in the Quater Finals. A block buster clash was on the cards and people were ready to witness the clash of two of the biggest clubs in Indian Football in the recent times. The stadium was packed, and it being a Sunday, our supporters came in numbers to back the team. In the mean while the club also qualified for the AFC Cup group stage. Hence, confidence was high. But, in front of us were Mumbai City FC. The one team whom we couldn't beat in ISL. The one team absolutely decimating every opponent they had faced till then.

But this time, things were different. We had new players, players of the elite class who won't back down from a fight. All eyes were on Jason Cummings as he was expected to lead the attack vs the Mumbaikars. And he didn't disappoint either, converting his penalty coolly. Goals from Hugo and Anwar made sure Pereyra Diaz's 28' equalizer didn't spoil the party for the Mariners. 

And while the attack looked good, the defense was what impressed everyone. Anwar being the dependable player he is, it was the calm of Hector Yuste which impressed everyone. 

Controversial decisions from the referee on both end of the pitch meant that rival fans had the opportunity to throw dirt at us on various social media platforms. But, who cares? We won, fair and square, and we went through. We had the belief, we had the determination. 


We faced FC Goa in the semi final, again at the VYBK. Goa were probably the most in form team at that point. Goa had changed from last season. New manager, new players. A new playing style. Manolo Marquez marshalled his troops well enough. And it showed. Goa took the lead via Noah Sadaoui. A beautiful strike from outside the box gave no chance to Vishal Kaith. Things looked bleak as Goa piled on the pressure with repeated attacks. 

So, it's it? Maybe we were meant to lose, maybe.....maybe....

In football, the game is never over till it's really over. And our players showed just that. First it was Cummings who got the equalizer. And then, it was the hero who stepped up. The Albanian Hero, the man with the golden touch, Armando Sadiku stepped up and scored a beautiful goal. A goal with class and pedigree written all over it. A goal for the ages, a goal for every Mariner who didn't give up.

There was no looking back from here. We won the match. Fair and square. Manolo had a lot to say in the press conference, like really a lot. Juan didn't care. We didn't care. The only thing we cared was for the Durand Crown, and most importantly, REVENGE.


This was it. There is no game bigger than the Kolkata Derby in Indian Football. Add to that the Durand final, both teams on 16 trophies. It was the perfect ending to this footballing grandeur. Even before the kick off, controversy surrounded the match. Ticket distribution from the event organizers was disgraceful and unprofessional to say the least. Many supporters didn't get tickets, while in black market, tickets were sold for 4 to 8 times the original price. Fans of both the clubs protested together against this gross mismanagement by the Durand committee.

Coming to the actual final, tensions were high. Not one, not two, but three trophies were on the line in this grand finale. The match begun with both teams squaring each other up. The match was slowly picking up its pace and the supporters of both the sides played huge role in it. Every touch, every foul, every shot and save were being celebrated and cheered by the crowd. Classic Kolkata football.

But soon disaster struck. Anirudh Thapa got the marching orders for a high boot resulting in a second yellow. The Mariners were reduced to 10 men. So.....was it all for nothing? All the sweat, all the blood, the tears, the insults.....all for nothing?

Coach Juan refused to give up. He introduced Cummings to the game. Liston came on. Glan Martins came on. The coach refused to back down. Attack, attack, attack!! That's what we did. And that's when magic happened.

I don't believe in magic, but it's hard to not be swayed and sit back without applauding when you see a magician pull a trick you thought to be impossible. In this case, our magician, our Dimi-God, our Petratos. He did it. Once again. Again and again and again. No matter whom we buy, we already had the Dimi-God among us. And he showed up.

Amazing run through the midfield, a little cut inside, a sweet shot off his left boot. The ball entangled in the East Bengal net, past the hapless Gill, who for one knows this feeling quite well by now. A thigh five followed, followed by a run to the stands. Our man has arrived. A legend has been born. Dimitri Petratos just immortalized himself in the history of the National Club of India. Fans jubiliant, dancing, some crying, some having a brain freeze. We're almost there.

Then came the final minutes. Attack after attack ensued like the waved of the ocean hit a ship. The ship stands firm with its sail. Our ship was firm too. Nothing went past Vishal Kaith. Nothing past Anwar, Subhasish and the warriors in the Mohun Bagan armor that day. Destiny can't be altered, and we wrote our own destiny.

The final whistle followed and the stadium erupted. Mariners, home and abroad dancing with joy. Players ecstatic. Proud owner in the stands. A defiant coach who once again proved his doubters wrong. And most importantly, REVENGE. Revenge for the insults, revenge for the abuses. revenge for everything.

This City is ours. This Country is ours. We are the Green and Maroon. We are the Champions again.

Three trophies were awarded for being the champions. The President's Cup, The Shimla Cup and the Durand Cup. Three beautiful trophies gracefully placed in our ever expanding trophy cabinet. Vishal Kaith won the golden glove.

What The Future Holds?

After the dust has settled in, Mariners will now be looking forward to the AFC Cup and the Indian Super League. The next match against Odisha FC in the AFC group stage on 19th September will mark the beginning of a long series of matches for the Mariners this season. Preparations have already been started. The teams is improving day by day. Players are getting to know each other. The only way is up. The AFC cup poses an important challenge to Mohun Bagan. Continental success is something every fan desires, and we have the team for that. What the Durand triumph has taught us that, it's not a one man show. This is a TEAM. Every player contributes to the cause. Slowly, but steadily, we will achieve our targets.

Believe in the team, back them, support them. Forever and ever, JOY MOHUN BAGAN!!

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