Ludhiana:Brazilian Edmilson Marques scored twice to help East Bengal win their fifth Federation Cup by defeating Mahindra United 2-1 in the final of the country's premier knockout football tournament.
Edmilson scored in the 34th and 45th minutes while Manjit Singh reduced the deficit for the jeepmen in the 46th.
Mahindra were not helped by the fact that Sunil Kumar, who missed the last match after seeing two yellow cards, saw two more today and left his team with 10 men for more than
half of the game.
Edmilson had missed the semi-final victory over Mohun Bagan due to injury but his return gave the red and gold brigade the cutting edge which was the major difference between the sides.
Mahindra missed the energy of N P Pradeep and would be disappointed that Steven Dias, who returned after missing the semi-final due to two bookings, and Ajayan Nair did not shine as coach Derrick Pereira would have hoped.
The victory at the Guru Nanak Stadium was East Bengal's first triumph in the tournament after 1996 and ended their long title drought in national competitions.
It would be a special moment for coach Subrata Bhattacharjee, who had joined the club this season only after distinguishing himself both as player and coach for arch
rivals East Bengal.
The game did not rise to any great heights to start with as the two sides sought to assess each other's strengths and weaknesses, thereby cancelling each other in the midfield.
There were precious few opportunities on goal and neither of the custodians were troubled in the first half hour.