Salgaocar Goa dashed East Bengal's hopes of a hat-trick of titles with a 3-1 victory in the final of the 33rd Federation Cup football tournament in Kolkata on Thursday.
Edeh Chidi (fifth minute) and Francis Fernandes (19th) gave Salgaocar an early lead before substitute Ryuji Sueoka (66th minute) put the issue beyond doubt with a third goal to help Salgaocar regain the Federation Cup after a gap of 14 years.
Cheered on by a boisterous crowd, Alan Gow reduced Salgaocar's lead in the 25th minute, scoring from the 'spot'. But, without their inspirational midfielder Mehtab Hussain, who lasted less than five minutes, they could not match the reigning I-League champions.
If it was a complete tactical failure for East Bengal coach Trevor James Morgan, for his counterpart, Karim Bencherifa, the triumph was really special, as the Moroccan tasted a 'double', having won the I-League and Federation Cup in the same calendar year.
Bencherifa, who coached Mohun Bagan to the title three years ago, thus guided Salgaocar to their fourth Federation Cup title after a gap of 14 years.
It was against the same side, and at the same venue, that Salgaocar, who were crowned champions in 1988 and 1989, had won the national knockout title in 1997.