Goalkeeper Prasanto Dora emerged the hero as title-holders Mohun Bagan clinched a dramatic 8-7 victory over East Bengal via the penalty-shoot out to romp into the final of the 110th IFA Shield football tournament in Kolkata on Friday.
The teams were 1-1 after 90 minutes of play and extra-time.
Bagan forged ahead through Brazilian striker Roberto Mendes Silva (Beto), but Shylo Malswamtluanga equalized for East Bengal.
In the shoot-out, both teams scored their first five kicks before Bagan keeper Prasanto Dora fisted away Surya Bikash Chakraborty's shot in sudden-death, after Dulal Biswas scored, to clinch the match for Bagan.
Beto, who had scored a penalty to put Bagan ahead, scored again in the tie-breaker before Eduwardo Coelho, Noel Wilson, Amit Das, Asim Biswas, Mehtab Hussain and Dulal Biswas converted the kicks from the spot.
East Bengal, on the other hand, paid for missing the easiest of the setpieces on a couple of occasions during the match.
Paolo, who missed a penalty in regulation time, compensated for it in the tie-breaker, but Chakraborty's folly nullified the successful attempts of Climax Lawrence, Sasthi Duley, Madhav Das, Malswamtluanga and Lewis Aniweta.
Earlier, the proceedings in the high-pitched encounter at the Salt Lake stadium had enough drama in store to keep the 60,000 strong crowd on the stands literally on their toes.
Two penalties - one converted, another missed - one red card, for East Bengal custodian Rajat Ghosh Dastidar, five yellow cards and temporary stoppage of play due to poor lighting, the Shield derby match saw it all and even more.
Bagan, who took the lead through Beto in the 42nd minute before Malswamtluanga drew level in the 62nd minute, will take on Myanmar's Finance and Revenue Football Club in the final on October 10.
Beto, who scored four goals in two group league matches, continued his mission and scored from the set-piece that he bagged when Aniweta handed the ball inside the penalty area while trying to thwart the goal-bound Brazilian.
But the jubilation in the Bagan camp died down soon as referee Vinod Kumar Singh awarded a penalty to East Bengal in the very next minute after Dharamjit Singh brought down Malswamtluanga inside the dreaded zone.
The chance, however, was wasted as Paolo's grounder narrowly missed the mark, much to the relief of the tense Bagan supporters.
Trailing 0-1 at the breather, East Bengal upped their ante and made incessant raids into the rival citadel and finally scored the equaliser from a well-knit move in the 62nd minute.
Chakraborty, who came as the substitute for an off-colour Bijen Singh, essayed a floater from right and Paolo beat advancing Bagan custodian Dora with his header, which, however, hit the cross-piece. As the rebound came in, Malswamtluanga pounced on the ball and slotted home, giving no chance to either the defence or the keeper to recover.