East Bengal, despite being plagued by injury blues, showed their true mettle by registering an easy 2-0 victory against Everready to enter the final of the 109th IFA Shield football tournament in Kolkata on Friday.
Brazilian Douglas da Silva and hard-working medio Dipankar Roy scored a goal each as the Red and Gold brigade squandered chances glaore and had to remain content with a two-goal victory in the Salt Lake stadium.
East Bengal, who made it to the final for a record 36th time, will meet arch rivals Mohun Bagan in the summit clash on Sunday.
Da Silva, who was adjudged man of the match, broke the ice in the 29th minute, scoring with a firm header off a Bijen Singh corner from the right.
Maintaining the pressure, East Bengal created ample chances thereafter but poor finishing proved their undoing.
Roy, who wasted a measured Sur Kumar centre in the initial minutes and then a Bijen cross late into the opening session, compensated for the lapses in the 55th minute by scoring the second goal with a brilliant solo attempt.
The local boy, who now tops the scorers' list with five goals from three matches, got a Malswamtluanga pass near the centre line, made way into the rival territory, dodged past two defenders and finally scored from a narrow angle past Everready goalkeeper Kalyan Chowbey.
Everready, tagged as the giant killers after trouncing Mohammedan Sporting 3-1 in the group league tie, put up a bold fight in the middle, but were done in by a poor show by their foreign recruit Ernest Jeremiah, who was rendered ineffective by East Bengal skipper Suley Musah.
They, however, came close to scoring early in the second half, but East Bengal 'keeper Sangram Mukherjee came to the rescue of his side, saving a power-packed Jayanta Sen volley.
Though the players were happy with a 2-0 victory despite not having the services of a number of regulars, coach Subhas Bhowmick may find his task in the final difficult as Da Silva, who picked his second yellow card today will miss the match.