Hosts Bengal pulled off a spectacular 5-4 (1-1) victory over their last year's nemesis Goa via the penalty shoot-out and entered final of 64th National Football Championship, for the Santosh Trophy, at the flood-lit Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Friday.
Although holders Goa started their title defence in a positive manner, taking a 20th minute lead through Milagres Gonsalves, Bengal staged a comeback with Robin Singh's goal in the 83rd minute as the regulation 90 minutes ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
The 30 minutes' extra-time ended goalless, leading to the shoot-out.
Bengal missed their first attempt, with Goa custodian and captain Felix D'Souza saving Rajiv Ghosh's effort as the defending champions took 1-0 lead in the penalty shoot-out.
But Bengal did not give up with goalkeeper Abhra Mondal playing in his first match, remained undeterred to hand Bengal a fabulous win.
In the shoot-out, Godwin Franco, Cavin Lobo and Adil Khan gave Goa a superb 3-0 lead converting the first three attempts but they fumbled in their last two tries and made a last-four exit.
In the fourth attempt, John Dias hit the post, while Bengal goalkeeper Mondal saved Nicolas Rodrigues's fifth attempt for victory.
Having fired blank in their first try by Rajiv, Bengal scored from the spot through Snehashish Chakraborty, Souvik Chakraborty, Sheikh Azim and Denson Devadas for a 4-3 win in the shoot-out.
The 29-time champion Bengal had bowed to the mighty Goans in the summit clash last year in Chennai in a similar fashion -- via penalty shoot-out -- to remain content with the runners-up trophy.