Monday, 25 November 2013

Mohun Bagan 0-1 East Bengal I-League 2013-14 1st Leg

24 Nov 2013, Calcutta: If practice makes a man perfect, it has already earned Lalrindika Ralte something close to perfection as far as taking long-rangers are concerned.
Ralte’s superb 30-yard left-footer at the Salt Lake Stadium, on Sunday, did not only light up East Bengal’s I-League campaign, it lit up thousands of faces with the brightness that’s unique to this part of the world… The glow of happiness that one can find in the faces of victorious team’s fans after a city Derby was for the Kingfisher East Bengal fans to cherish on the day. Thanks to Ralte, thanks to his world-class goal.
Ralte makes sure he practises taking long-rangers on a regular basis. That his hard work didn’t go in vain was proved, once again, on Sunday as East Bengal emerged 1-0 winners over arch-rivals McDowell Mohun Bagan in the season’s first Derby.
One may say that the strike was very much against the run of play and not often do such long-range efforts find the desired target in Indian football. But if it’s Ralte, you better believe that the youngster is an exception. He deserves all the credit for coming up with an extraordinary piece of work in such a pressure-cooker situation.
So, precisely, Ralte’s 73rd-minute stunner was what separated the two teams on the day.
Till the goal, it was Mohun Bagan who looked the better of the two sides, even if marginally, as they focused on playing within their limitations.
But as Denson Devadas delayed in going for a tackle, which could have won him the ball back from Ralte, little did the Bagan midfielder realise what would follow.
Ralte was a good 30 yards away from the target when Harmanjot Singh Khabra set him up for a crack. Banking on his instincts, the 21-year-old unleashed a pile-driver that bulged into the net as Bagan ’keeper Shilton Paul’s desperate drive bore no fruit.
In other words, Shilton, who did a fairly decent job under the bar, stood dumbfounded, as did the rest of his teammates and thousands of Bagan fans. The red-and-gold supporters, as expected, were delirious.
Prior to that unbelievable strike, things weren’t looking that good for East Bengal. Bagan’s ace striker Okolie Odafe was beginning to look dangerous, while East Bengal captain Mehtab Hussain injured his knee trying to check the former. Mehtab had to be carried off the field.
But Ralte stood up and ensured the occasion belonged to East Bengal. Not only the players, officials and fans, the victory meant a lot for new coach Armando Colaco as well. His spontaneous celebration after the match left no one in any doubt about that.
As for Bagan, they will certainly be disappointed with the loss. Coach Karim Bencharifa, though, has some positives to take home. Topping the list is the performance of side-backs Pritam Kotal and Shouvik Ghosh, as both of them did a decent enough job.
Pritam even went on the overlap once and sent in a wonderful floater for Odafe 15 minutes after the breather. To be fair, the Bagan defence, despite the absence of Aniyichie Echezona, looked more organised than that of East Bengal.
They were efficient enough to make sure the crosses from the rival players got cleared or didn’t fall in place. Central defenders Aiborlang Khongjee and Rowilson Rodrigues played their part in keeping Edeh Chidi at bay, as Colaco’s treasured passing football appeared to be going for a toss.
Bagan could have taken the lead as early as the sixth minute when Odafe, operating from a little deep, set Eric Muranda up with a superb through ball. An advancing Abhijit, however, rescued his team with a brilliant save.
The East Bengal defence looked shaky for most parts of the match and Odafe, moving up in the second session, came perilously close to breaking the deadlock. After Uga Okpara lost the ball, Odafe did brilliantly to evade Arnab Mondal and Mehtab. But again, his attempt from such a close range failed to beat Abhijit.
It wasn’t Bagan’s day. It was East Bengal’s… It was Ralte’s.
Marcos Falopa wasn’t around for a comment, but one would have certainly liked to hear his views after Sunday’s Derby hero Lalrindika Ralte credited former East Bengal coach Trevor James Morgan for instilling in him the confidence of taking long-rangers.
This was new coach Armando Colaco’s first match with East Bengal, so he wouldn’t mind Ralte doffing his hat to Morgan. It’s a fact that Falopa, during his stint, never really enjoyed any reference to Morgan.
“I dedicate the goal to my family and my girlfriend… I also want to credit Morgan as he was the one who gave me the confidence and encouraged me to take long-rangers. I really blossomed under him and I thank him for that,” Ralte said after his 30-yard left-footer made all the difference in East Bengal’s 1-0 win over Mohun Bagan.
Ralte’s love for long-rangers is no secret. He once again stressed on the hard work that goes behind his successful long-rangers. “I love scoring from long-rangers… I have to work really hard during practice to attain perfection. Every day, after the training session, I practise them for some 20-odd minutes,” he said.
An East Bengal-Mohun Bagan Derby is always special. Any player who scores in one, especially in a winning cause, is elated. Ralte was no different. “Scoring for the first time in a Derby is always special… It just feels awesome to score in front of 80,000 people. It’s the best goal of my career so far… Better than the one I scored in the AFC Cup.”
East Bengal’s Japanese recruit Ryuji Sueoka, though, wasn’t too surprised with Ralte’s strike. “Of course, it was a terrific goal… But I’m not surprised as I’ve seen Lalrindika scoring these types of goals quite often in the past. He’s very much capable of getting them consistently,” Sueoka said.
Coach Armando Colaco, who admitted that the Calcutta Derby is a different experience altogether, feels Ralte could be far more dangerous if he uses his right leg.
“Lalrindika has a powerful left-footer, no doubt about it. That made the difference today. But he hardly uses his right-leg. In any case, he plays at a very difficult position in the left wing. With a little bit of correction, he can become an even better player,” the seasoned coach said.
Colaco’s counterpart, Karim Bencharifa, too, lauded Ralte’s strike. “I must say that was an out-of-the-world goal… Truly, a special one that took the game away from us,” he said.
But Falopa, who has returned to Brazil, wouldn’t be completely disappointed. True, Ralte didn’t remember him. But Colaco did. As promised, Colaco dedicated the Derby win to the Brazilian. “I dedicate this win to Falopa… I’ll give him a call soon as he had wished me whole-heartedly for this match.”
Amidst all the jubilation, captain Mehtab Hussain’s injury will leave a few creases on Colaco’s forehead. East Bengal’s next match is on Thursday, against United SC.
“It might take three to four days to recover from this knee injury. Let’s see what happens,” was all Mehtab could say.
East Bengal: Abhijit Mondal, Naoba Singh, Arnab Mondal, Uga Okpara, Saumik Dey, Cavin Lobo (James Moga 65), Mehtab Hossein (Shylo Malsawamtluanga 73), Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Lalrindika Ralte, Chidi Edeh, Ryuji Sueoka (Gurwinder Singh 91).
Mohun Bagan: Shilton Paul, Pritam Kotal, Aiborlang Khongjee, Rowilson Rodrigues (Manish Bhargav 92), Souvik Ghosh, Denson Devadas, Katsumi Yusa, CS Sabeeth (Ram Malik 64), Eric Muranda (Shankar Oraon 83), Okolie Odafe.
Referee: Pratap Singh
MoM: Lalrindika Ralte

Match Videos:


Sunday, 6 October 2013

East Bengal 1-0 Mohun Bagan :Mcdowell Cup Final 2000

10 July 2000, Calcutta: A comedy of errors crowned the concluding edition of the McDowell Cup as East Bengal committed less of them to edge Mohun Bagan 1-0 in today’s final at Salt Lake Stadium.
The tale of blunders started in the first minute — when East Bengal squandered one of the few chances they eventually created — and left the 40,000 spectators bemused, with the Mohun Bagan defence producing what was perhaps its worst performance in recent ‘big’ matches.
As if to reciprocate all the false moves and inaccurate passes, referee Supriya Bhattacharjee had a rather forgettable day in office and must have thanked his stars for not letting things veer out of control.
Anit Ghosh got the goal at the stroke of half time with some significant help from the rival defenders. The green-and-maroon men were mere spectators when Dipendu Biswas tried to break into the box with Srikanta Dutta for company.
They failed, without being challenged, and Anit picked up the ball just outside the box and everybody assumed the ball would be relayed back to Dipendu. Instead, Anit cracked a low left-footer which whistled past goalkeeper Bivash Ghosh. The shot was powerful but the goalkeeper didn’t even dive.
Srikanta was a central character in the tale of misdeeds and two of his adventures stood out for complete lack of common-sense. The striker picked up a rare clever through from Carlton Chapman in the 64th minute and had just the ’keeper to beat from about ten yards but his feeble left-footer crawled into the lap of Bivash.
His selfish approach cost East Bengal a goal seven minutes later when he refused to pass the ball to Dipendu only to be dispossessed.
The Mohun Bagan defenders looked insipid and though there was not much pressure let in several balls despite maintaining numerical superiority in the defensive zone.
Stopper-backs Shib Shankar Santra and M. Suresh formed a clumsy pair and striker Joao Dos Santos was seen clearing the ball from where left-back would normally stand even in the dying stages.
Their mid-field play was non-existent and there was absolutely no supply for Santos and Jose Ramirez Barreto. James Singh and R.C. Prakash were hardly visible and defensive medios Debjit Ghosh and Dulal Biswas, especially the former, lost possession whenever a move was brewing.
They were ably complemented by the East Bengal mid-fielders who played a slew of wrong passes and looked desperate to defend the lead right after the interval.
The supervision was nightmarish with East Bengal’s Jackson Egygopong getting away with several rough tackles after being booked and Srikanta was shown just a yellow card for an unnecessary, off-the-ball push on Bivash.
The height of it was witnessed midway into the second half when Dipendu fell near the centre circle. He stayed like that for some time as the ball travelled to distant corners of the turf with the referee, amazingly, positioned near the injured player. He could have either ignored the player and stayed near the ball or stopped play to pay attention to the extent of the injury but did neither.

Dipendu’s individual brilliance and initiative and the tussle between Dipak Mondal and Barreto were the only gains from the lacklustre show and the defender impressed all with his water-tight marking. Barreto was never allowed to turn or dribble and saw teammates losing possession on the couple of occasions he managed to do so.
Mohun Bagan coach Subrata Bhattacharya blamed the referee and his defenders for today’s McDowell Cup final defeat against East Bengal.
At the centre of the coach’s ire was the official. But he was not as harsh on his defenders. “Yes, our defenders played below expectations but we kept East Bengal under pressure.”
He said his team was denied a penalty and numerous fouls on his Brazilian forwards Joao Dos Santos and Jose Ramirez Barreto were overlooked.
East Bengal coach Syed Nayeemuddin said he was happy with the performance because it won them the trophy. Otherwise, he added with a grin, he would give the team 15 out of 100! 

Mohun Bagan 1-1 East Bengal : Calcutta Football League 1st Leg 2000-01

29 July 2000, Calcutta: The match was evenly fought, the score even. A crowd of 70,000 watched as Mohun Bagan and East Bengal drew their first encounter in the Super Division League 1-1 at the Salt Lake Stadium today.
East Bengal started with repeated raids on the opposition goal and went ahead through Carlton Chapman in the ninth minute. Jose Ramirez Barreto converted a direct free-kick in the 35th to bring Mohun Bagan back in the match.
East Bengal used the left flank frequently in the first half with Dipendu Biswas being the centre of all moves. He made some good crosses and played an important role in Chapman’s goal. Dipankar started the move, found Dipendu on the left who guarded the ball, swerved around Sumit Sengupta and centred it for Chapman.
The East Bengal skipper came unmarked down the right and scored with a blazing right-footer.
At the other end, Barreto was marked very closely by Dipak Mondal who gave the Brazilian little room. But Barreto’s efforts to free himself resulted in consecutive free-kicks. While a collective effort by Sammy Omollo and Barreto failed in the first instance, there was no stopping the latter in the second.
Barreto earned a free-kick when Jackson Egygpong fouled him a few yards outside the penalty box. He unleashed an in-swinging curler, placing it sweetly at the corner of the goal which gave the goalkeeper little time to react. The players forming the ‘wall’ too looked mystified as Barreto’s right-footed shot sailed above them. The goal came so suddenly that the crowd took sometime to react and for the first time the Mohun Bagan supporters found their voice.
Meanwhile, Dipendu continued his runs but each of them proved fruitless. Dipankar Roy missed the easiest of them when his wild right-footer, from 15 yards, sailed way above the goal.
Off a counter-attack, Barreto masterminded a beautiful move after evading a number of defenders and found James Singh at a very good position. But James hit a wild shot which went nowhere near the goal.
The move, though, did not materialise into a goal but Mohun Bagan were just about starting to dominate.
They began the second half from where they left in the first. Barreto was now operating from the deep. The East Bengal goalkeeper did not make life any easier for his teammates as he failed to cleanly collect the ball on a number of occasions.
From a set-piece move which started with R.C. Prakash, Santos hit a good right-footer that hit the bar and fell in front of Shanti Majumdar. The custodian did everything but hold on to the ball but fortunately for him, none of the Mohun Bagan players were in a position to capitalise.
East Bengal made two substitutions at this point, which changed the course of the match. Sheikh Sanjib came in for Srikanta Dutta and Tushar Rakshit replaced Anit Ghosh. From then on, East Bengal made good use of their right flank with Sanjib making a few charges at the opposition’s defence. Rakshit broke Bagan’s hold on the game and added new vigour to the midfield.
East Bengal coach, Syed Nayeemuddin, also mentioned the two substitutes as the only gains from the game.
In the dying moments, James took a corner and almost scored. The ball hit the post and was finally cleared by Chapman.
Both teams showed equal desperation and at one instance play continued for minutes with Dipendu lying on the ground injured. It is a different matter altogether that Dipendu returned immediately after being stretchered out.

Mohun Bagan’s defence, after quite some time, looked strong and the credit can be granted to the return of Sammy Omollo who was unbeatable in the air and clean on the ground. The only drawback in their game was the appalling standard of the use of dead-ball situations.

Mohun Bagan 1-1 East Bengal : Calcutta Football League 2nd Leg 2000-01

2 Sept 2000, Calcutta: The traditional paper torches lit up the early evening sky as a 1-1 stalemate extinguished Mohun Bagan’s hopes of stopping East Bengal from posting a hattrick of Super Division League triumphs.
Mohun Bagan’s Jose Ramirez Barreto neutralised Sur Kumar Singh’s 24th-minute strike in the 54th but the result kept East Bengal five points ahead of their arch rivals. With a three-point gap between the top-two being enough to do away with a championship play-off final, East Bengal (35 points) emerged champions for the 27th time.
Needing nothing short of a win to keep alive chances of bagging their 25th title, Mohun Bagan did show the urgency in the early stages. Choosing to go in without a defensive midfielder, Mohun Bagan succeeded in taking early control of that zone and started operating at a brisk pace.
They even put one into the goal in the third minute but that R.C. Praksh effort, off a Basudeb Mondal corner, was disallowed because of an infringement. The early charge rattled East Bengal and the credit for the fact that they did stage a comeback must go to Chandan Das.
Spotting the huge open spaces in the rival-half caused by their movement upwards, Chandan started probing the empty pockets with some accurate long passes, most of which were essayed from well inside his own half. He also made sure that both flanks remained active and played a key role in the goal.
Chandan’s 30-yard freekick found Carlton Chapman down the left, who, on entering the box floated one towards the far post. Right-back Sur Kumar stole in unnoticed and unchallenged, his header keeping the custodian rooted to the spot. The aerial crosses were accurate and the header well-placed but the liberty Sur Kumar enjoyed well inside the rival box was inexplicable.
Chandan continued essaying the long-rangers and most of them found either Dipendu Biswas or Sheikh Sanjib who seemed to lack the last and decisive touch. At least three of them split open the rival defence and should have been converted. Chandan also tried a few long-rangers one of which had to be tipped over by a diving ’keeper.
The goal took the sting out of Mohun Bagan and their coach must also take a fair share of the blame for a substitution that defied logic. Replacing Satyajit Chatterjee with Joao Dos Santos right after the goal, Subrata Bhattacharya took off a principal source of all the able passes. The veteran was looking charged up and a few good prompts for Barreto had class written all over.
This move ensured that Mohun Bagan lost a creative mind in the midfield and Santos, not for the first time, looked puzzled and ran around aimlessly, unsure of his role. Things turned better in the second half when he was pushed forward with Barreto falling back a bit. But the damage had already been done once Satyajit was taken off and Mohun Bagan lost control soon after.
Mohun Bagan started the second half with renewed vigour and equalised soon after. Barreto once again played the lead as he released Rennedy down the left with a deft flick of the boot and the India medio sent in a deep centre which floated accross the goalmouth, tempting the goalkeeper to have a go at it.
The ’keeper missed the flight as Prakash headed it back for Barreto who nodded in his eighth goal of the League. It put him jointly on top of the list alongside Prakash.
Barring the goal, the Brazilian was not at his best and this significantly affected their chances. The disorganised display after the goal bore testimony to that as they failed to take advantage of a few crucial errors committed by the normally reliable Jackson Egygpong.
Being showered with praise after the completion of the Super Division Derby, the East Bengal coach said he wants to savour the triumph for some time before planning for the future. His Mohun Bagan counterpart, however, blamed the referee for today’s 1-1 draw.
The result was enough for Syed Nayeemuddin’s men to seal the title and the coach praised the club officials for giving him a free hand. “My association with East Bengal brings back special memories as I got the Arjuna and Dronacharya Awards while being with this club,” he said.
Nayeem, not known for identifying individuals for special praise, said Sur Kumar Singh, Chandan Das, Sangram Mukherjee and Dipak Mondal were the finds of the season.
The East Bengal crowd’s hero of the day, scorer Sur Kumar, said he was enjoying his new role as right-back though a more central role is what he is more used to.
“Yeah, overlapping is new to me, I learnt the nuances from our coah here,” said the 20-year-old from Khurkhul, a place 16 kms away from Manipur.
This is his first season with a club after having graduated from the Tata Football Academy this year.
The Mohun Bagan coach said his team was denied at least three penalties and blamed the referee for not being able to force a win. He also said that R.C. Prakash’s third-minute goal, disallowed for a foul, was proper.
“Such referees should be suspended. His decisions affected our boys’ confidence and that is the reason why we couldn’t win,” said Subrata Bhattacharya.
Subrata even said that East Bengal will not be able to do well in matches outside Calcutta as they won’t be getting such “assistance” from the officials.
About the game, he defended his move of replacing Satyajit Chatterjee with Joao Dos Santos, saying he needed more men up front. He also stood by his defenders who stood mere spectators when East Bengal scored.
“They were undone by the number of wrong verdicts. I don’t blame them. Also, it would have been a different story had our third-minute goal been upheld,” Bhattacharya said.
According to club officials, Mohun Bagan may lodge a formal protest against the referee. They added that Mohun Bagan may not take part in the upcoming IFA Shield if their matches are not conducted by outstation officials.
“This is not regarding our matches against East Bengal but applies to other games as well,” said an official.


EAST BENGAL: Sangram Mukherjee; Sur Kumar Singh, Dipak Mondal, Jackson Egygpong, Ratan Singh; Carlton Chapman (Dipankar Roy, 68), Ayoyemi Isiaka, Anit Ghosh (Tushar Rakshit, 58), Chandan Das; Dipendu Biswas, Sheikh Sanjib (Trijit Das, 29).
MOHUN BAGAN: Rajat Ghosh Dastidar; Dulal Biswas, Debjit Ghosh, M. Suresh, Lolendro Singh; Basudeb Mondal (Hussain Mustafi, 81), R.P. Singh, Satyajit Chatterjee (Joao Dos Santos, 26), Rennedy Singh; R.C. Prakash, Jose Ramirez Barreto.
Referee: Udayan Haldar.

East Bengal 1-1(5-2) Mohun Bagan : IFA Shield Final 2000

16 Sept 2000, Calcutta: Amar Ganguly has had to live in the shadows of Mohun Bagan’s star strikers this season. Today, he squandered his chance for a place in the sun.
Banished to the bench on most occasions, Ganguly, a second-half substitute at today’s IFA Shield final, was tantalisingly close to what would have been the the ‘golden goal’ when he faltered. As he sat clutching his head in disbelief, the scene somehow summed up Mohun Bagan’s story at the Salt Lake Stadium.
A story of missed opportunities.
East Bengal escaped to victory, winning the tie-breaker hands down to complete a ‘triple crown’ of local titles after triumphs in the McDowell Cup and Super Division League.
In a fascinating match of fluctuating fortunes, it was East Bengal who drew first blood, Chandan Das finding the mark from a 26th-minute breakaway. Jose Barreto brought parity for the green-and maroon brigade with a classy strike 38 minutes into the second session.
And then, after more misses, the game spilled into the penalty shootout that went all wrong for Mohun Bagan — from the first kick.
The result will be a real heartbreak for Mohun Bagan, for they have rarely dominated their arch-rivals in the manner they did today. They will, of course, have been rudely reminded that, in the end, it’s not just about creating opportunities but scoring from them.
The midfield was always going to be the key area, and Mohun bagan took control from the onset. However, even as they pressed forward, East Bengal always seemed to catch them on the wrong foot with quick breakways. One of these produced the first goal, though Amitava Chanda could take a great deal of blame for some clumsy defending.
When the ball ran loose towards Chanda and Suley Musah in a 50-50 situation, the Mohun Bagan left-back, the last defender on this occasion, made the cardinal mistake of going for an all out tackle. Once he failed, Musah was left with all the space he needed.His cross found Chandan, whose prompt shot at goal went in off the left post. Bagan turned the heat on from there, but were thwarted time and again by goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee.
The 20-year-old TFA blue had a dream day, rising every time his team faced danger. It looked as if nothing could beat the boy from Kanchrapara, till the brilliance of Barreto bailed Mohun Bagan out yet again.
The crafty Brazilian, who found very little support upfront, showed his class when R.C. Prakash sent in a cross. Barreto shut out Sur Kumar Singh with his body even as he sent his side-volley past the hapless goalkeeper.
Sur Kumar, after getting into a few elbow-pushing bouts with the Brazilian, had to leave the pitch six minutes before the end after his second booking of the day.
Barreto did little wrong, though he did mess up a chance to get the ‘golden goal’. Prakash was to find the crosspiece minutes later.
East Bengal too got their chances, most of them from breakaways down right, but they may well want to dedicate this victory to their spirit. The ability to hang on, and deliver the knockout punch.
East Bengal opens with Chandan Das sending the goalkeeper the wrong way on the left. (1-0)
Sammy Omollo’s push along the carpet to the goalkeeper’s left is saved by the diving Sangram. (1-0)
Musah beats a diving Sandip on his right. (2-0)
Dulal Biswas tries to blast his shot in but it comes to grief on the crosspiece. Mohun Bagan is now in real trouble. (2-0)
Ratan Singh, the ‘left-footer’, fools Sandip with a right-footer that goes past the goalie’s right. (3-0)
Satyajit Chatterjee, the ‘pro’ shows his mates how it’s done by coolly slotting to the left of Sangram. (3-1)
Sandip needs to save this one to keep Mohun Bagan afloat, but Dipendu gives him no chance with a nice placement. (4-1)
EAST BENGAL: Sangram Mukherjee; Sur Kumar Singh, Dipak Mondal, Jackson Egygpong, Ratan Singh; Suley Musah, Carlton Chapman (Tushar Rakshit 51st, Ranjan Dey 103rd), Chandan Das, Dipankar Roy (Anit Ghosh 88th); Dipendu Biswas, Bijen Singh.
MOHUN BAGAN: Sandip Nandy; Dulal Biswas, Sammy Omollo, M. Suresh (Joao Santos 36th, Amar Ganguly 82nd), Amitava Chanda; Debjit Ghosh; Basudeb Mondal, R.P. Singh (Hussain Mustafi 71st), Satyajit Chatterjee; Jose Ramirez Barreto, R.C. Prakash.
Referee: S. M. Balu (Karnataka)

Source :

East Bengal 1-0 Mohun Bagan : National Football League 1st Leg 2000-01

17 Feb 2001, Calcutta: East Bengal leapfrogged to the top of the National Football League table. And Mohun Bagan did everything apart from scoring even after creating several chances to suffer a 0-1 defeat against their biggest rivals at Salt Lake Stadium today.
East Bengal are now on top of the table with 16 points from seven games. Mohun Bagan have 14, also from seven outings.
The all-important goal came in the 47th minute when Omolaja Olalekan scored after a blunder from Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Kalyan Chowbey left him with no other option.
It happened at the very beginning of the second half. A Dipankar Roy lob from the deep, on the way deflected first by Dipendu Biswas and then by Mohun Bagan’s M. Suresh, fell into Omolaja’s way.
The goalkeeper came out of his line to collect the ball with sufficient help from defender Amouri da Silva, who shielded it from Omolaja till he was sure that the goalkeeper had things under control. Even Chowbey seemed to be sure of himself and yet let it slip out of his grip. The Nigerian, as if embarrassed by Chowbey’s error, shyly tapped the ball in with his right foot.
Bagan coach Subrata Bhattacharya made a few unexpected changes in his team. Unfortunately, none of them worked. The decision to play Chowbey, with Bivas Ghosh and Rajat Ghosh Dastidar available, was baffling. This move proved to be fatal and Chowbey, who last played against Tollygunge Agragami on December 18, did not rise to the occasion.
The coach at the end of the match justified his decision. “I chose him because his outings are good,” he reasoned. It’s a different matter altogether, that Chowbey’s “outing” proved to be his and his team’s downfall.
Bagan also started with Amitava Chanda playing as right-back. Chanda, not really a regular in the team, could not get into the rhythm of the game and had to be replaced by James Singh as early as in the 24th minute. Dulal Biswas, starting in midfield, fell back. The tactical decision taken by Subrata to start with two defensive midfielders, when Bagan’s strength is their attacking midfield could not be however justified. Basudeb Mondal’s presence from the beginning may have made a difference.
The first half was a sedate affair, with both sides creating few chances. In the 17th minute, East Bengal’s Ghanaian recruit Suley Musah took the first shot of the match. A stinging right-footer had Chowbey stretch for probably the only vital save he made today.
Mohun Bagan’s defence was also not totally in control of the game. In the 33rd minute, Dipendu and Dipankar were left unmarked in front of the opponent’s citadel. But fortunately for Mohun Bagan, the East Bengal marksmen could not take advantage.
After scoring the goal, East Bengal completely lost their composure for sometime and Mohun Bagan made repeated attacks, but only till the goalmouth. In the 51st minute, two consecutive shots from well inside the penalty box, first by James and then by Dulal Biswas, were both hit at goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee.
Again in the 59th, a header from Jose Ramirez Barreto found James in front with only the goalkeeper to beat. But before James could take his shot properly, Sangram came charging and the ball went wide of the target. James should have scored from the position he was in but then the miss summarised Mohun Bagan’s inability to convert their chances today.
Barreto, who was not very effective in the first half, was in his elements in the second. However, there was never adequate support from his teammates. Mohun Bagan did put the ball into the net in the 78th minute but only after the whistle had been blown for an infringement on the goalkeeper by Barreto.


EAST BENGAL: Sangram Mukherjee; Suley Musah, Jackson Egygpong, Dipak Mondal, Ratan Singh; Carlton Chapman (Sur Kumar Singh, 37th), Anit Ghosh (Ranjan Dey, 79th), Chandan Das; Dipankar Roy, Dipendu Biswas (Bijen Singh, 60th), Omolaja Olalekan.
MOHUN BAGAN: Kalyan Chowbey; Amitava Chanda (James Singh 24th, Amar Ganguly, 62nd), Amouri Da Silva, M. Suresh, Lolendra Singh; Dulal Biswas, R.P. Singh, Debjit Ghosh, Rennedy Singh (Basudeb Mondal, 52nd); Jose Ramirez Barreto, R.C. Prakash.
Referee: S.M. Balu.

Mohun Bagan 0-0 East Bengal : National Football League 2nd Leg 2000-01

10 April 2001, Calcutta: The frontrunners in the fifth National Football League stay that way, the lead remaining at three points. Twice champions Mohun Bagan, barring a miracle, will have to concentrate on securing the runners-up slot.
That was the outcome of the insipid, goalless tussle that the two premier teams of the country engaged in at the Salt Lake Stadium this afternoon.
Nobody in the 50,000-odd turnout expected good football. They did not get any. However, on a hot, humid afternoon East Bengal spent a great deal of energy in early attacks, and though they fell back a good deal in the second half, a lack of feed and understanding in the Bagan attack line prevented the holders from wresting the initiative.
Bagan coach Subrata Bhattacharya had probably not made calculations for the surge of East Bengal attacks that came off the kick-off. He had probably expected a more tentative start, a decent option in any of these tension-prone ‘big’ matches.
Dipendu Biswas probably tried to dispel the general fear of his loss of form with some unusual exuberance, so to say. Had such initiatives been accompanied by some activity of the grey cells, things would have been better for the red-gold title aspirants.
Early worries were in the Bagan defence being breached too often. It was not just that the defence was under pressure, it was the cascading effect of the absence of any player of the calibre of Basudeb Mondal in the half line that allowed infiltrators through. Basudeb sat the match out with two bookings, and the Bagan half line looked creaky weak.
The first real danger came in the eighth minute when a 25-yard pile-driver off Chandan Das came off the Bagan crosspiece. Five minutes later, Suley Musah pushed into the Bagan box, dribbled past two defenders, but failed to keep his head in the end and let go a weak grounder that ’keeper Bivash Ghosh collected easily.
What was happening with the Bagan attack? The generally dependable Brazilian, Jose Ramierz Barreto, was feeling lonely, if not for the company of three-four East Bengal defenders always on his back. There was little feed towards this striker, and less towards Bangladeshi Alfaz Ahmed. Alfaz himself was instrumental in a couple of breakthroughs, but enjoyed no understanding with Barreto.
James Singh did advance to help out, and that was the only source of balls for the two upfront.
The policing on Barreto was a foregone conclusion. What the Bagan coach surely should have done was decide on a dummy alternative that could have taken the policemen off Barreto or decide on an alternative source of attack altogether.
The first proper Bagan move came in the 25th minute when Alfaz moved up the left and into the box. He let go an excellent centre across the goalmouth, an offering that needed one touch from any boot. There was, however, no takers from Bagan.
The refereeing was as mediocre as the match. In the 36th minute Bivash stretched to collect off an East Bengal offensive, but Dipendu, following up, slided into him. That was definitely a card-worthy foul that referee K. Sankar of Tamil Nadu decided to ignore.
By the second half, East Bengal’s enthusiasm, with its energy level, had subsided to acceptable levels. That was when Bagan managed to lope into the rival defensive third with some wingplay via James. In the 47th minute a James shot from inside the box was tipped over by Sangram Mukherjee who had a good day under the bar.
At the other end Lolendra Singh failed to outpace Dipendu, but the latter shot out in haste. But the heat and humidity was getting to the players and the pace was slackening. There was a lapse in concentration too.
That resulted in a near goal in the 57th minute when Lolendra, off a Naushad Pari pass on the left, shot at goal. The ball took a sudden deflection off Chanchal Bhattacharya’s legs and headed straight to goal. Sangram dived at the last moment to effect a fine save.
By that time, East Bengal had decided it would be a draw and were playing for it. More men were pressed into defence, with counterattacks being kept the vehicle for releasing the rising pressure.
In the midst, the refereeing fiasco again came to the fore when Bivash was collecting off an East Bengal attack. The ’keeper had bent down to collect and did not notice Dipankar Roy charging in. The latter put spike on Bivash’s back and climbed, before going down on the other side, pulling down the ’keeper with him. Again, there was no booking.
Much scrappy action signed off the match, keeping Mohun Bagan groping still.
Mohun Bagan coach Subrata Bhattacharya believes his “broken” team has been able to put up a good enough performance versus a “full compliment” East Bengal today.
He promised that he would fight “till the end” and that until the last match was played, there would be no way East Bengal coach Manoranjan Bhattacharya would be allowed a good night’s sleep.
Manoranjan agreed that it was a “big hurdle” that his team took care of at the Salt Lake Stadium today but said: “This is no reason to relax. The National League has not been won yet, and that is the big responsibility that remains.”
Manoranjan’s big worry is over three of his key players — Isiaka Awoyemi, goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee and medio Carlton Chapman. All received their second bookings today, and will be absent from the team in the next match versus Vasco in Goa on April 18.
“That will be a problem,” he agreed. “These are the small things that I mean when I say the league isn’t over yet.”
East Bengal have also to play State Bank of Travancore and FC Kochin.
He said his worry was to keep the Bagan midfield in a straightjacket. He believed that it was the Bagan strength, despite the absence of Basudeb Mondal. “I did manage that,” he said.
“The way my players performed today, I am happy. There is no question of any moral victory. It was a strategic game, and we treated it as such.”
He said he took a chance in fielding Chanchal Bhattacharya because “he has developed a good understanding with Jackson Egygopong and has big match experience”.
Subrata said he is going to wait. He said he has liked the way Bangladeshi recruit Alfaz Ahmed has performed and that there was enough scope yet to catch up and beat their rivals.
“Last time we had won with a number of matches to go. It will not happen this time. That’s it,” said the optimist.
He said that his boys could have got the issue sealed today itself had they been able to translate their second half domination into goals.
“You must consider the fact that we fought well with a broken team versus a near full strength East Bengal. That’s a good outcome.”
Mohun Bagan have a tough match, versus Salgaocar of Goa in Calcutta on April 20, and Subrata is diverting his attention to this now.
He has another Bangladeshi, Md Nakib, waiting in the wings.


MOHUN BAGAN: Bivash Ghosh; Dulal Biswas, Amouri, Hussein Mustafi, Lolendra Singh; James Singh, Jayanta Sen, Debjit Ghosh, M. Suresh (Naushad Pari, 56); Alfaz Ahmed, Jose Ramirez Barreto.
EAST BENGAL: Sangram Mukherjee; Suley Musah, Jackson Egygopong, Chanchal Bhattacharya (Ranjan Dey, 68), Falguni Dutta; Carlton Chapman (Hamza Zaheer Abbas, 61), Isiaka Awoyemi, Chandan Das, Dipankar Roy; Dipendu Biswas, Omolaja Olalekan (Bijen Singh, 76).
Referee: K. Sankar (Tamil Nadu).

Mohun Bagan 1-0 East Bengal : Calcutta Football League 1st Leg 2001-02

11 Aug 2001, Calcutta: An afternoon of dull soccer, and an opportunistic second half strike by substitute James Singh. That sort of settled the Calcutta Football League’s Super Division leaders at the Salt Lake Stadium today.
Mohun Bagan are the undisputed leaders now, three points clear of nearest rivals Bhratri Sangha (18 points) and seven wholesome points ahead of East Bengal.
The ‘Derby’ match, as it was billed, turned out insipid. The stands were choc-a-bloc, after a long time, full of arrivals from way across the horizons and East Bengal had everything to play for.
That should have been incentive enough, and it was not as if East Bengal did not try. But there was this lack of understanding in the attack line, and then when the woodwork was there to whip in, there were misses. Talking of misses, Dipendu Biswas has made an interesting habit of it, as interesting as can comprise a ‘house of horrors’. Today he added more to his collection.
And I.M. Vijayan, English sojourn and all that incorporated, made for a rather pathetic passenger. At least East Bengal’s new Tanzanian recruit, Ally Amayay Tembele, did promise some decent soccer in the days to come. There could have been no argument for ground condition, which was not too good, because of a strong, smart shower just before the match.
East Bengal dominated the first half, and should have gone ahead easily had Dipendu not shot over from close in the 12th minute. He had been fed from the left by Vijayan on one of the latter’s few positive moves.
In the 30th minute Ally slid up quickly and set Dipankar Roy up who squared across the goalmouth. Dipendu was required to get a touch for the goal. He failed.
That’s when Jo Paul Ancheri was pulled out for Anit Ghosh. Ancheri is a laggard now, his injury has failed to heal, it seems, and he is a liability on the team.
East Bengal missed another chance, too, when Vijayan outstepped a free-kick out, from inside the box. This crazy free-kick was availed of when Mohun Bagan’s Rennedy Singh backpassed to Bivash Ghosh in the box and the goalkeeper collected.
Mohun Bagn looked a refreshed side after the change of ends. There, obviously was some hard talking in the deressing room. Their first half was sad, and one was not forgetting the third minute Jackson Egygopong shot from the top of the Bagan defensive third that had rolled in unattended through the line of defenders till Bivash Ghosh collected.
In the 55th minute there was this ugly scene in the Mohun Bagan defence zone, with Hussain Mustafi, Barreto, Dipendu, Bivash and more involved in a rough-up and semi-fisticuffs. It was a crude way of expressing oneself, and as referee Arup Chakraborty picked up his yellow card that had gone flying in the chaos, one expected a few more bookings. He did none.
Play was cooling off rapidly, dwindling towards a draw, when, in the 61st minute, Basudeb Mondal was up the left in a sudden counterattack. Mondal forwarded to Rennedy, who chipped to the goalmouth. James quickly chested it down and shot home. Ratan Singh was ahead, but failed to intercept.
East Bengal came back with all the pressure tactics, but it was late by then. The issue had been decided.
Mohun Bagan coach Subrata Bhattacharya came off the many congratulations that landed in his lap for his wards today beating East Bengal 1-0 in their CFL Super Division tie at the Salt Lake Stadium. He said he was confident of “not losing” once his wards were able to see off the first half.
“They (East Bengal) surely played better in the first half,” said Subrata, “but we caught up after change of ends and it was a good goal to score anyway.” He said the backpass incident was a “mistake”. “It was not an intentional backpass,” he said, “hence the penalty should not have been what it was.”
He also refused to say that the title was in his pocket. “There is no way I can say that, because there are a good many matches left. Anything can happen. I don’t believe in any comment before I’m 100 per cent.”
East Bengal coach Manoranjan Bhattacharya said Ratan Singh’s missing the flight of the ball from James Singh was a rare incident. “Such happens once in a hundred chances, and it did today.”
He, of course, said James Singh’s effort was commendable. Manoranjan’s did not seem too perturbed by this defeat. He said he was looking forward to the federation Cup and “no shadow of this defeat will be on that meet for East Bengal.”
While conceding that the seven-point difference was rather on the long side to be caught up with, Manorajan said that his team was getting into shape and he expects better understanding soon. He, made it clear that he was not satisfied with I.M. Vijayan. “He is not in form,” said the coach, cancelling all the English tour experience gathered by the player.


MOHUN BAGAN: Bivash Ghosh, Dulal iswas, Amouri Da’Silva, Hussain Mustafi, Rishi Kapoor, Basudeb Mondal (Ajoy Singh, 84), Debjit Ghos, Renedy Singh, Jose Ramirez Barreto, R.C. Prakash (Hjames Singh, 46), Abdulateef Seriki.
EAST BENGAL: Sangram Mukherjee, Falguni Dutta, Dipak Mondal, Jackson Egygopong, Ratan Singh, Awoemi Isiaka (Dipak Das, 66), Ally Mayay Tembele, Jo Paul Ancheri (Anit Ghosh, 34), Dipankar Roy (Amit Das, 68), Dipendu Biswas, I.M. Vijayan.
Referee: Arup Chakraborty

East Bengal 2-1 Mohun Bagan : IFA Shield Semifinal 2001

6 Oct 2001, Calcutta: The result was no bolt-from-the-blue stuff. East Bengal dominated all of the first half and scored, Mohun Bagan came back in the second half and equalised, but the Bagan’s defensive weakness let the initiative through as East Bengal rode Jo Paul Ancheri’s double strike to the 107th IFA Shield final, Jose Ramirez Barreto’s reverse strike notwithstanding.
In the midst, there were scrappy events, Chandan Das of East Bengal being marched out for a dash on Barreto and the latter, too, for retaliating. By then, though, the issue had been settled, with the red-gold jerseyed brigade qualifying to play Palmeiras of Brazil in the final.
Early signs were not good for Mohun Bagan. Barreto was, also as expected, policed, mostly by Jackson Egygpong, but Suley Musah too put in his bit in the issue. That was one reason why he wasn’t mobile enough today, leaving the East Bengal right flank somewhat empty. This, though, was made up by the left flank and the middle working overtime, stretching the weak Bagan defence taut.
In the 11th minute, Dipankar Roy moved up the left and passed Amauri da Silva who generally presents an insipid challenge. Goalkeeper Bivash Ghosh was also up, but Roy’s pass reached Ancheri who drew it to the edge and managed a fine tap from acute angle, but the near upright came in the way.
The defensive weaknesses apart, the row of East Bengal offensives were to an extent also because of the lack of sting in the Bagan offensive. The absence of Abdulateef Seriki (who served a one-match match suspension) was sorely felt. His presence used to take a good deal of load off the Bagan defenders’ backs — in other words, it was a good nook to hide their deficiencies. The big culprit was, of course, Amauri.
In the 24th minute Omolaja’s pass reached Dipankar to the left of the box. Dipankar’s centre, quite like on the earlier occasion, was snapped up by Ancheri as Amauri advanced. The Brazilian stood clay-footed, and even collapsed in an Ancheri feint. That was easier for Ancheri than even Bivash, who was under the bar, but failed to react as the East Bengal striker’s left-footed grounder went in past the far post.

The next setback for Bagan was when Basudeb Mondal had to be pulled out by coach Subrata Bhattachaya. Basudeb, the playmaker, had a knee injury that needed attention. By then the East Bengal domination was clear. The attacks came fast and thick, and there were hardly any Bagan offensives except one in the 40th minute when R.C. Prakash failed to get the better of the still mushy surface at the East Bengal goalmouth and in an attempt to pass to a teammate, lost control and with it a great opportunity.
Bagan regrouped and came right back in the second half. Perhaps realising that the East Bengal domination was mostly in the head, they shook off the effect and in the fourth minute Prakash was again in striking distance. Goalkeeper Hemanta Dora was out of charge and it was a close affair, but Dipak Mondal appeared from nowhere to effect a goalline save. Isiaka Awoyemi missed one at the other end.
By then the match had become scrappy, and tempers were rising as a couple of bookings ensued. Bagan earned a flag-kick in the 20th minute of the second session and Rennedy’s shot reached Prakash at the goalmouth. Prakash’s deflection was patted back by Dora, but it was tardy and Barreto shot in from close. That was Barreto’s fifth goal in this championship.
Five minutes later East Bengal threw an offensive back as the Bagan defence thickened. Isiaka entered the box and following two more quick relays the ball reached Ancheri, who was standing with his back to the goal. Ancheri trapped well, made a half-turn and shot home an eloquent left-footer.
That was the end of Mohun Bagan, except that in the 87th minute the two players were marched out. It was a just decision, and none protested.
The day ended with a 35-yard volley by Mohun Bagan’s Dulal Biswas slipping off the crosspiece.
Mohun Bagan, of course, get a chance to redeem some pride Wednesday when the Calcutta League’s Super Division championship leg Derby comes off.


EAST BENGAL: Hemanta Dora, Suley Musah, Jackson Egygpong, Dipak Mondal, Falguni Dutta, Isiaka Awoyemi, Tushar Rakshit (Chandan Das, 62), Anit Ghosh, Dipankar Roy (Bijen Singh, 74), Omolaja Olalekan (I.M. Vijayan, inury time), Jo Paul Ancheri.
MOHUN BAGAN: Bivash Ghosh, Dulal Biswas, Amauri da Silva, Hussain Mustafi, Rishi Kapoor, R.P. Singh (Sumit Sengupta, 82), Basudeb Mondal (Bungo Singh, 74), Jose Ramirez Barreto, Debjit Ghosh (Amar Ganguly, 46), Renedy Singh, R.C. Prakash.
Referee: M.S. Balu (Karnataka)

Mohun Bagan 1-1 East Bengal : Calcutta Football League 2nd Leg 2001-02

11 Oct 2001, Calcutta: East Bengal today realised what it means to finish on the receiving end of a 1-1 scoreline — which helped Mohun Bagan retrieve Super Division honour.
The Salt Lake Stadium stalemate left Mohun Bagan with 34 points from 13 matches at the end of their campaign — enough to ensure their arch-rivals stayed at least three points adrift. East Bengal have 27 from 12 and a win against Tollygunge Agragami in their last match will not reduce arrears to the required extent.
It was revenge of sorts for Mohun Bagan, who forced an identical score in last year’s second-leg tie under similar circumstances, only to be denied a play-off final, following the same principle. This was their 25th triumph in the local league.
Early indications were different though, with East Bengal pressing hard for a win and stay in the hunt of a fourth successive title. They struck in the 15th minute through Omolaja Olalekan, but capsized soon as Mohun Bagan came back in waves.

Capping an excellent day with a goal seconds into the final session, Rennedy Singh emerged an unlikely hero and East Bengal were distinctly lucky to escape a spanking. East Bengal never managed another clear look at goal and must thank their stars for Mohun Bagan turning blind when they did so.
There was tension in the air, and the referee flashed yellow cards to three from each team. There was the odd blemish as well and Mohun Bagan’s Debjit Ghosh escaped punishment despite an act which could have spread trouble in the stands. He charged up at the referee for what he thought should have been a red card on Suley Musah for a foul on Rennedy.
Contrary to their coach’s match-eve apprehension that the venue was a “den of terror favouring East Bengal,” Mohun Bagan discovered terror lies actually at the heart of their defence. Right-back Dulal Biswas was easily beaten to Falguni Dutta’s through for Dipankar Roy down the right.
The medio sent in a backpass which caught the goalkeeper in a corridor of uncertainty. Before deciding whether to advance or stay put, the goalkeeper had walked out a few steps, but was still far from Omolaja who sent home a low first-time right-footer despite being hemmed in by the stoppers. It placed the Nigerian on top of the goal-scorers’ list with eight.
East Bengal tried to press home the advantage by introducing I.M. Vijayan in the 24th minute, but the striker looked woefully out of condition before making a tame exit 52 minutes later.
The goal stirred Mohun Bagan back in action and Rennedy cut loose down the left which made up for an off-colour Jose Ramirez Barreto. Rennedy’s incisive throughs and centres were not taken advantage of, but rattled the rival camp and kept Suley Musah busy at his job as right-back. The absence of this Ghanaian’s powerful bursts down right definitely handicapped East Bengal.
Their resistance broke after the changeover, when Abdulateef Seriki’s pass found Bungo Singh just outside the box on the right. Bungo picked out James Singh whose pass reached Rennedy at the goalmouth. The medio trapped the ball, negotiated a tricky bounce and jabbed it low past an advancing ‘keeper.
More chances came their way and it should have been 2-1 in favour of Mohun Bagan in the 85th inute but Barreto failed to find an empty net from the six-yard mark. Goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee was lying helpless after thwarting Bungo from Rennedy’s cross, but Barreto failed to bend properly and ballooned a right-footer over the bar.


EAST BENGAL: Sangram Mukherjee; Suley Musah, Jackson Egygopong, Dipak Mondal, Falguni Dutta; Amit Das (I.M. Vijayan, 24, Dipendu Biswas, 76), Tushar Rakshit (Chandan Das, 40), Dipankar Roy; Omolaja Olalekan, Bijen Singh.
MOHUN BAGAN: Rajat Ghosh Dastidar; Dulal Biswas, Amouri da Silva, Hussain Mustafi, Rishi Kapoor; Debjit Ghosh, James Singh, R.P. Singh (Bungo Singh, 35), Rennedy Singh; Abdulateef Seriki, Jose Ramirez Barreto.
Referee: Supriyo Bhattacharya.

East Bengal 0-1 Mohun Bagan : National Football League 1st Leg 2001-02

16 Dec 2001, Calcutta: Football is all about goals, and the one who gets them its most precious possession. Among those who do, some stand alone with their craftsmanship and vision. A combination of both is not very common and Indian football is fortunate to have one such practitioner even at a time when it’s experiencing new lows.
It was a stroke of pure brilliance from Jose Ramirez Barreto which separated Mohun Bagan from East Bengal in today’s National League tie at Salt Lake Stadium. The 1-0 verdict should not have too great an impact in the 12-team, double-leg marathon, considering it was just the second outing for both teams.
What it’s likely to do, taking into account the way the goal was scored, is that Mohun Bagan’s confidence will soar in the knowledge that they can continue to look up to Barreto in times of trouble. Their perennial rivals will have to go home, think what went wrong, work a way out and get back to business as soon as they can.
What continues to baffle soccer afficionados is what this Brazilian is doing in this dark and remote corner of world football! Surely, he will get better places to display his class where the standard is higher.
Time to talk about the match. It was as scrappy as any other clash involving the superpowers of Indian football. There was this tendency to interrupt proceedings with tricks forbidden by the law and referee K. Shankar flashed the yellow card five times to keep things under control.
There was also an expulsion — that of Ranjan Dey who attracted the yellow card twice within 13 minutes after coming in as substitute — which meant East Bengal had to make do with ten men for the last 32 minutes. East Bengal suffered another major blow when key defender Dipak Mondal left the field after getting injured. He is unlikely to return in three weeks. Dey, incidentally, was Mondal’s replacement.
And then, there was divine intervention in the 26th minute. It was an apparently harmless centre from the right, which travelled to Barreto stationed at the edge of the penalty box after a deflection from Abdulateef Seriki. The ball bounced waist-high between Jackson Egygpong and Barreto, and the latter had time for just one touch to accomplish mission. It came in the form of an air-bound, right-footed side volley and like an obedient aide, the ball crashed into the near end of the goal — beating India goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee to his right.
It didn’t jerk East Bengal into action, who were looking the better side till then and even had an early Suley Musah ‘goal’ disallowed because of an infringement. They continued with their slipshod ways with no constructive movement from the midfield and failed to create even one genuine chance. They did force the odd half-chance towards the end, but those were more out of desperation rather than planned moves.
East Bengal’s approach, when they realised they had to get even, was shockingly primitive. Balls were floated towards the box from the rear in the hope that strikers Bijen Singh and Omolaja Olalekan would get them down and do the needful. Neither is tall enough for such a plan to succeed and it didn’t.
In the early stages of the match, there was a bit of thrust from East Bengal down the right but Isiaka Awoyemi blasted them way over the mark like a spoilt kid. Their enterprise down the flanks, however, died down as the match progressed.
I.M. Vijayan looked almost clueless in his new avatar as midfielder. The most successful Indian striker in recent times was cheeky at his best and the odd one he chipped in was too clever for lesser mortals. He got a golden chance to redeem himself with a free-kick towards the end from what was dreaded as ‘Vijayan zone’ not too long ago. He buried it into the wall.
Even a six-minute stoppage time added on to the proceedings wasn’t enough for East Bengal to get their act right.
Mohun Bagan got two more clear chances in the second half when East Bengal had thrown most of their men forward. Seriki was the one to get the goalkeeper alone on both occasions but forced a smart save once and blew away the other to wilderness.
Mohun Bagan’s saviour on many occasions since arriving in India two years ago, Jose Ramirez Barreto rated today’s goal against East Bengal as his best yet.
He also said today’s victory in the National League clash was the right reply to those who were sceptical about his team’s ability.
“Our defence is not as bad as is made out to be. Today’s result proves it. The goal was special since it was my first in a win over East Bengal. It was also the most satisfying,” the magical Brazilian said.
The Bagan coach refused to see this match as an indicator of which way the title might go since it’s still so early in the marathon league. “It’s a morale-booster no doubt,” Subrata Bhattacharya felt.
His East Bengal counterpart Manoranjan Bhattacharya said his team didn’t deserve to lose. “We had better ball possession and I don’t know why the goal by Suley Musah was disallowed.”
Although the coach felt wronged there was no sign of discontent among the East Bengal players when the Ghanaian was pulled up for a foul when he hit the mark in the sixth minute.
There was more bad news in the East Bengal camp with Dipak Mondal being ruled out for at least three weeks.
Their mainstay in defence suffered a right ligament injury and had his leg plastered in the dressing room itself. The team doctor said Mondal has been advised not to fold that leg for some time.
Meanwhile, East Bengal’s goalkeepers’ coach Bhaskar Ganguly refused to blame Sangram Mukherjee for the goal. “He was perhaps unsighted and it’s never easy when it’s a volley or header,” explained the former stalwart.
“The problem with such efforts is there is little time to react, unlike a shot taken from the ground. You have to guess and hope the ball comes the way you dive,” he said.


MOHUN BAGAN: Rajat Ghosh Dastidar; Dulal Biswas, Amauri Da Silva, Hussain Mustafi, Lolendra Singh; James Singh, Basudeb Mondal (Sumit Sengupta, 89), Debjit Ghosh, Ajay Singh; Jose Ramirez Barreto, Abdulateef Seriki (Uday Konar, 87).
EAST BENGAL: Sangram Mukherjee; Suley Musah, Jackson Egygpong, Dipak Mondal (Ranjan Dey, 55), Surya Bikash Chakraborty (Ratan Singh, 61); Isiaka Awoyemi, I.M. Vijayan, Anit Ghosh, Dipankar Roy (Dipendu Biswas, 74), Omolaja Olalekan, Bijen Singh.
Referee: K. Shankar (Tamil Nadu).

Source :

Mohun Bagan 1-0 East Bengal : National Football League 2nd Leg 2001-02

11 March 2002, Calcutta: Ninety minutes at the Salt Lake Stadium this afternoon decided a number of things — that Mohun Bagan is well in the hunt for a third crown, that East Bengal will remain destined to roam around those lowly off-podium places, that Jose Ramirez Barreto is surely the best striker in the country today. It also proved that pan-fried emotion and not good soccer is the Bengali babu’s favourite Maidan dish.
When Barreto struck home in the 55th minute, Mohun Bagan moved into the leader’s spot in the Tata National League with 28 points from 15 matches. Vasco also stand on 28 points but the Calcutta team has a better goal difference. Churchill, however, have 27 points after 14. East Bengal remained on 20 from the same number of matches.
It was a humid afternoon of wishful soccer, scrappy at best, temper-tattered at its worst. It was interesting to note that a 60,000-odd turnout really did not mind that what was being served may have been tasting a trifle too sour to be fresh. That was that frail, time-tested nature of the Calcutta palette.
To be fair, though, the goal was a package worth all the money one may have paid. It was a dainty and quick mix of a set-piece well effected and a defensive lapse that let go the marauders. Dulal Biswas loped up the middle and found R.P. Singh on the right, in the box. The pass actually reached Jo Paul Ancheri, but the star international botched it up with a jumble fry, and it all resulted in a square centre to the goalmouth. Barreto was volleying in a flash and East Bengal goalkeeper Sudip Sarkar could do little about it.
And, to think that East Bengal coach Subhas Bhowmick today refused to use the experienced Sangram Mukherjee for a so-called ‘safer’ Sudip.

The match was generally dominated by Mohun Bagan. There was little East Bengal could do in the face of probes from Abaulateef Seriki and Basudeb Mondal (who worked the midfield well) and even Rennedy Singh and R.P. Singh. Their efforts were too creaky, though, and referee Rizwan Ul-Haq’s frequent stoppages without the benefit of advantage did not help. East Bengal did have their mobility problem, but it was less due to what Bhowmick later said was “Falguni Dutta’s absence” and more due to the lack of basic initiative.
East Bengal also lost a good deal of manpower in trying to police Barreto and Seriki. That could have been the make-break difference. Suley Musah was hardly moving today, a man who makes the flanks lively in the dullest of seasons. There were also these temper tantrums (once a brief stoppage involving Seriki and Jackson Egygpong and the latter dived, bringing onto the ground an East Bengal official). On the one occasion that Musah moved, in the 30th minute, Carlos and Dipankar Roy took it to the goal with ‘keeper Rajat Ghosh Dastidar out of position. Hussain Mustafi made a late save for Mohun Bagan.
However, there is little to say about the Mohun Bagan misses. In the 43rd minute Seriki’s effort went off the crosspiece, another in the 77th off Rennedy Singh again chipped off the crossbar.
Sadly, though, apart from the crazily cheering crowd, and the fact that one Calcutta team stays in the lead, there will be little to remember from this ‘derby’ clash, the second time that Mohun Bagan have beaten East Bengal in this League. That, too, is a first for National Leagues.
East Bengal’s Anit Ghosh started the day with a prayer. Later he was pulled out by coach Subhas Bhowmick because of “non-performance.”
Mohun Bagan’s Jose Ramirez Barreto finished his job and raised his hands in prayer. “I can only say I have been able to function the way I have because of my team,” he said. “It was a team win today,” he said.
The Brazilian singled out Abdulateef Seriki as the “best player of the day” and said the Nigerian’s efforts well complemented his in the 1-0 National Football League win at the Salt Lake Stadium.
Bhowmick said it was Falguni Dutta’s accident yesterday that did his team in today. “It had created such a psychological pressure on the team, it was difficult to come out of it,” he said after the match.
Bhowmick also put a good deal of blame on Jo Paul Ancheri (who is likely to be out again, because his injury seems to be troubling still) and even Anit, who did a decent job on-field anyway.
Mohun Bagan coach Subrata Bhattacharya believed he “waited out the first half just to measure up the rivals.”
“That was how I was able to dominate the second half,” he said. That was notwithstanding the fact that Mohun Bagan made a good deal of forays in the first half as well.
Bhattacharya felt that the League title is still far off, but “I will let things be easy now, I have been pressuring the players too much for too long.” He also felt that the first-leg win (in which, too, Barreto had scored) was “definitely more satisfying.”

MOHUN BAGAN: Rajat Ghosh Dastidar; Dulal Biswas, Hussain Mustafi, Amouri Da Silva, Rishi Kapoor; R.P. Singh (Ajoy Singh, 75), Basudeb Mondal (Abdul Saliu, 82), Debjit Ghosh, Rennedy Singh; Jose Ramirez Barreto, Abdulateef Seriki.
EAST BENGAL: Sudip Sarkar; Suley Musah, Isiaka Awoyemi, Dipak Mondal, Jackson Egygpong; Jo Paul Ancheri (Tushar Rakshit, 78), Chandan Das, Anit Ghosh (Ranjan Dey, 60), Dipankar Roy (Dipendu Biswas, 64); Jose Carlos Da Silva, Bijen Singh.
Referee: Rizwan Ul-Haq (Delhi)

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Mohun Bagan 1-2 East Bengal : Calcutta Football League 1st Leg 2002-03

20 Aug 2002, Calcutta: Red and gold were very much the dominant colours at the floodlit Salt Lake Stadium as a boisterous 70,000-odd watched East Bengal score a 2-1 win over Mohun Bagan in Tuesday evening’s Super Division derby.
Dominating proceedings right from the start before losing their way somewhat for a short spell after the breather, East Bengal took the lead through Dipankar Roy in the 10th minute. Mohun Bagan were fast fading under the steady pressure, but got a lifeline in the 32nd minute when Basudeb Mondal made things even against the run of play. Their joy didn’t last the distance as Dipankar’s substitute S. Malsawmtluanga capped his team’s decent performance with a 74th-minute winner.
East Bengal, with 16 points from six matches, now head the table alongside Mohammedan Sporting. Mohun Bagan, after crashing to their second defeat in six games, stay on 12.
East Bengal’s five-man midfield gained early ascendancy with Chandan Das playing the anchor. They kept probing mostly down the flanks and moved up enough men inside the striking zone to push Mohun Bagan into the defensive. With the goalkeeper struggling with collections and deep defenders not oozing confidence, East Bengal created several openings and accuracy in their finishing could have made things embarrassing for Mohun Bagan.
Mohun Bagan were trying out a new defensive combination with George Ekeh replacing Yakubu as central defender and barring a lapse in concentration which led to the East Bengal winner, the newcomer had a good first match.
However, the vigil was far too inadequate elsewhere and the feeble midfield was clearly lacking a navigator. Basudeb tried to get things going but barring him and Dulal Biswas to an extent, there was hardly any contribution from the other medios.
Jose Ramirez Barreto, whose skill and determination bailed Mohun Bagan out of trouble on numerous occasions in the last three seasons, was a shadow of his usual self. Apart from a few classy pushes and nudges, one of which set up the equaliser, the Brazilian was kept quiet by Subhashish Roy Chowdhury.
With Chandan operating down the middle, Alvito D’Cunha and Dipankar, pushed closer to the sides, tried to make things happen instead of waiting for them. Strikers Mike Okoro and S. Kulothungan were always lurking around the box, which kept the Mohun Bagan defence from breathing easy.
Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Amit Sinha Roy was struggling to grip the ball and after getting away with a punch at the ball which almost bounced in off Okoro’s shoulder in the sixth minute, paid the price soon after.
Amit chose to fist Chandan’s flag-kick from the right and the ball went to Alvito who was waiting free near the tip of the box. The Goan hammered a left-footer, which came off the legs of the defenders crowding the goalmouth, but Dipankar slotted the rebound in from close.
It took Mohun Bagan 23 minutes to take the first shot at goal and it was a low right-footer from a distance that was collected well by goalkeeper Sandip Nandy. They got the equaliser when East Bengal skipper Anit Ghosh lost the ball near the rival box. Kajal Bhattacharya gave it to Basudeb who quickly saw that the entire East Bengal midfield had moved up and released Barreto down the right with a measured pass. Barreto dragged it wide, taking away two defenders and played it back inside the box for Basudeb who finished with a smart first-time right-footer.
Mohun Bagan were looking better in the second half but Ekeh’s only error in the match proved decisive. Shankarlal Chakraborty’s curling cross landed in front of the defender who failed to make contact while trying to whip it out.
Okoro gleefully took the ball, cut away towards the side and sent a measured cross for Malsawmtluanga who obliged with a header. The 20-year-old from Aizawl, nicknamed Mama, got a golden chance to stretch the lead but banged a right-footer against the upright after being put through by Okoro.


East Bengal: Sandip Nandy; M. Suresh, Anit Ghosh, Subhashish Roy Chowdhury; Shankarlal Chakraborty, Alvito D’Cunha, Chandan Das, Dipankar Roy (S. Malsawmtluanga, 64), Surya Bikash Chakraborty; K. Kulohtungan (Subhash Chakraborty, 79), Mike Okoro.
Mohun Bagan: Amit Sinha Roy; Satyabrata Bhowmick (Tarif Ahmed, 46; Amar Ganguly, 71), George Ekeh, Kajal Bhattacharya; Santosh Singh, Dulal Biswas, Basudeb Mondal, Umesh Sharma (Sumit Sengupta, 87), Lolendro Singh; Sheikh Sanjib, Jose Ramirez Barreto.
Referee: Subrata Sarkar.