Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Mohun Bagan 1-1 East Bengal : Calcutta Football League 2004-05

18.7.04, Calcutta: Mohun Bagan technical director Subrata Bhattacharya’s strategy of strengthening the defence and his wards’ fine execution could just have fetched them full points. Lady Luck, though, decided otherwise, and they had to be content with just one point, after a 1-1 draw with East Bengal in the season’s first derby at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday.
Mohun Bagan went into the lead through Sunil Chhetri in the 26th minute. The equaliser came in the 71st minute through a Douglas da Silva free-kick.
Things were going swimmingly for Bagan, but in the 58th minute coach Bhattacharya was forced to withdraw the in-form Noel Wilson who was limping after a Shylo Malsawmtluanga tackle. Abhay Kumar came in for Wilson, but the latter could not match the sturdy action of Wilson. That can be considered the turning point of the match. East Bengal were all over soon after.

It seemed the green-maroon camp wanted to put behind last season’s dismal show and come up with surprises against the favoured opponents. Bhattacharya raised many eyebrows by fielding Rishi Kapoor in the playing XI for the first time in the season. That was one of his many small tactical changes.
East Bengal, on the other hand, never looked in control. There were flashes of individual brilliance mostly from Alvito D’Cunha, and later also by Douglas da Silva. And Bhaichung Bhutia wasn’t his glamorous self.
In the early part of the first half the red-gold shirts launched few attacks up the middle but failed to penetrate, mostly because of Eduardo Coelho and Palash Karmakar. The duo thwarted moves with ease.
When East Bengal tried to direct the game up the right wing, via Syed Rahim Nabi, the player came up against a tough proposition in Kapoor. Nabi wasn’t able to find his way past that hurdle, and it was difficult to understand why East Bengal coach Subhas Bhowmick persisted with Nabi till the end.
To add to Bhowmick’s woes was Louis Aniweta. He is a somewhat average defender in aerial tussles, but below average on the ground. More often than not it was Dipak Mondal and Selwyn Fernandez who saved the national champions from the blushes.
By the 15th minute Mohun Bagan had the match in their backyard. This culminated in a brilliant goal in the 25th minute. Ashim Biswas, coming up the left, passed on to an advancing Sunil Chhetri on the right, inside the box. Sunil took the ball in his stride, and, on the run, dodged Fernandez and Aniweta with a body feint. While he changed path, he also switched the ball from his left to the right foot. In one sweeping motion, he had let go a powerful grounder that found the target.
Watching Syed Hussain was another drudgery. Bhowmick did right to replace him with Shylo Malsawmtluanga inside the first half. After Malsawmtluanga’s arrival the East Bengal midfield looked somewhat more decent. Sashti Duley, as usual, switched to the left.
After the breather, Bhowmick, realised the need for the big push, and took a gamble. He replaced Chandan Das with Douglas, despite the latter clearly being far from match-fit. The Brazilian had landed in the city only Saturday afternoon, and surely needed more time to adapt. Yet, he tried his bit to supply balls for Bhaichung and to Alvito D’ Cunha. Helped ably by Malsawmtluanga, East Bengal started launching attacks one after the other. Several times they reached the goalmouth but failed to come up with the equaliser.
In the meantime, Wilson’s withdrawal in the 58th minute helped East Bengal to get hold of the midfield and swing the game in their favour. But they had to wait till the 71st minute to restore parity.
Malsawmtluanga was tripped just outside the box and East Bengal got a free-kick. Douglas’ left footer swerved in to find the net, after a soft deflection off a Mohun Bagan defender.
“The difference was that Sunil Chhetri put Bagan ahead through a creative strike while Douglas’ equaliser from a free kick was a fluke goal,” Subrata said.
He directed all his ire at the referee. “I’m not at all satisfied with the referee. The referee is solely responsible for the draw,” Subrata added, not willing to go into details. “Why did the IFA suddenly decide on a city referee to officiate the game despite all the talk about the Goan presence,” Subrata asked.
Presumably both Chhetri and Douglas were happy after scoring their maiden goals in a derby clash.
“I had never been on the first XI in any derby clash before. So it gives me lot of pleasure to have scored the lone goal in my first appearance for my team today,” Chhetri said.
Douglas, who arrived on Saturday, said: “It has always been my dream to score against Mohun Bagan and I achieved it today,” Douglas said. According to the Brazilian, East Bengal have lot of scope for improvement.
For Bhutia, Sunday’s performance will act as a catalyst before their trip to Leicester city. “I am quite satisfied with the way we have played but we need to improve our passing and fitness in course of time,” Bhaichung said.
There remains many grey areas to be taken care of. Bhowmick will have to take special care of his defence, while Bhattacharya must look for a striker. Both sides are on seven points after three outings.
Mohun Bagan: Prasanta Dora, Dulal Biswas, Mehrazuddin Wadao, Palash Karmakar, Eduardo Coelho, Rishi Kapoor, Tomba Singh (Manas Das 69), Noel Wilson (Abhay Kumar 58), Dharamjit Singh, Ashim Biswas, Sunil Chhetri (Jerry Zirsanga 74).
East Bengal: Sangram Mukherjee, Syed Hussain (Shylo Malsawmtluanga 35), Selwyn Fernandez, Louis Aniweta, Dipak Mondal, Sashti Duley, Syed Rahim Nabi, Climax Lawrence (Dipankar Roy 64), Alvito D’Cunha, Chandan Das (Douglas da Silva 46), Bhaichung Bhutia.
Referee: Subrata Sarkar.

Source : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1040719/asp/sports/story_3513589.asp

Mohun Bagan 0-0 East Bengal : Calcutta Football League 2004-05

11.9.04, Calcutta: Subhas Bhowmick took the idea of treating the Super Division derby as a practice match for next week's AFC Cup quarter final too seriously. He accorded Mohun Bagan the same respect as he would Syria's Al Jaish and ended up with a solitary point, when he could have actually picked up the full compliment of three.
Subrata Bhattacharya dared to be bolder, his well-oiled midfield having the defensive-minded East Bengal unit on the run for almost the entire first session. They ran out of steam after change of ends, as the rains pelted down and Bhowmick's men came out of their shell.
In the end, a goalless scoreline perhaps did justice to both teams, though East Bengal could consider themselves a trifle unlucky. An 84th-minute Shylo Malsawmtluanga push hit the base of the crosspiece and stayed put in the puddle before being cleared by Mehrajuddin Wadao, while referee Subrata Sarkar who had a forgettable match overlooked a Mohun Bagan (Tapan Ghosh) hand-ball inside the penalty box 19 minutes into the game.
The date being 9/11, fingers remained crossed as nearly 70,000 die-hards settled in the stands. Something had to give way, and the heavens opened up like nobody's business. The sweet tinge of green, pre-kick off, soon gave way as 22 pair of boots tortured the Salt Lake Stadium turf.
Mohun Bagan called the shots with Dharamjit Singh, Mehtab Hussain and Sunil Chhetri running the East Bengal defence ragged. Syed Rahim Nabi, a striker thrust into the role of right-back, had a harrowing time keeping tabs on the speedy Dharamjit. The usually reliable Debjit Ghosh wasn't rock-solid, neither was Louis Aniweta.

The man East Bengal depend on so much these days Douglas da Silva had his mind elsewhere. The Brazilian, cautioned for a nasty tackle, was lucky not to be sent off after arguing with the referee at the slightest provocation. Even Alvito D'Cunha had an off-day, and had to be taken off after an hour.
Five minutes after kick-off, Dharamjit set up Mehtab with a nice little square pass. Turning quickly and seeing Sangram Mukherjee out of position, Mehtab let go an angular left-footer. It curved in wickedly and Sangram reacted in the nick of time to palm the ball away.
Debutant Nigerian Suleiman Hamid, finding the underfoot conditions too heavy for his liking, got hold of a free ball a little later and moved up a few paces before being dispossessed by an Aniweta sliding tackle. On the half-hour, Hamid trapped a Mehtab offering but shot in haste straight into Sangram's hands. Mehtab and Dharamjit, on two separate occasions, sent in inviting crosses into the danger zone but neither Hamid nor Chhetri was in position to meet the ball.
East Bengal looked threatening just twice in the entire opening session. In what was the best move of the match, Malsawmtluanga fooled Eduardo and Rishi Kapoor and sent in a measured cross only for Bijen Singh to send his header over the crosspiece.
Then Sashthi Duley, in one of his rare attacking forays, floated one in from the left, but Douglas glancing header went wide of the second post.
The introduction of the energetic Dipankar Roy brought about a sense of urgency in the East Bengal ranks. He almost did the trick with his first touch of the ball, just failing to direct a Climax Lawrence through into the net.
Nabi ventured up front more often as Dharamjit was tired and Malsawmtluanga showed some enterprise to test the Mohun Bagan defence. East Bengal, unlike in the first half, pushed more men into the Mohun Bagan citadel to support Bijen.
Climax tried a snap right-footer from about 22 yards out which caught Subrata Pal off guard but missed the mark narrowly. Douglas failed miserably with a direct free-kick, from just five yards outside the penalty box.
East Bengal did exert considerable pressure in the final half-hour, but it was too late. The Mohun Bagan defence, ably led by Palash Karmakar and Eduardo, soaked it all up and took home a point which helped them maintain their lead top of the table.
Mohun Bagan: Subrata Pal, Dulal Biswas, Palash Karmakar (Manitombi Singh, 77), Eduardo Coelho, Tapan Ghosh (Mehrajuddin Wadao, 46), Rishi Kapoor, Tomba Singh, Mehtab Hussain (Basudeb Mondal, 62), Dharamjit Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Suleiman Hamid.
East Bengal: Sangram Mukherjee, Syed Rahim Nabi, Debjit Ghosh, Dipak Mondal, Louis Aniweta, Sasthi Duley, S. Malsawmtluanga, Climax Lawrence, Douglas da Silva, Alvito D'Cunha (Dipankar Roy, 59), Bijen Singh.
Referee: Subrata Sarkar.

Source : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1040912/asp/sports/story_3747823.asp

Mohun Bagan 1-1 (7-6) East Bengal : IFA Shield 2004

8.10.04, Calcutta: History revisited Salt Lake Stadium and East Bengal once again found themselves on the wrong side of the penalty shootout drama as they lost to Mohun Bagan in the IFA Shield semi-final 8-7 on Friday.
On September 28 last year, Prasanta Dora was also there under the bar and blocked M. Suresh's shot helping Mohun Bagan lift the crown.
On Friday, the same man, certainly matured by another year, came in the way of Surya Bikash Chakraborty as well as East Bengal's hopes, leading the team to Sunday's summit-clash with Myanmar Finance and Revenue FC.

Quite a few things have changed for the winners since that September 28 evening. Jose Ramirez Barreto had left the club while Subrata Bhattacharya replaced Aloke Mukherjee as the coach. Something, on the other hand, didn't move at all for the losers: absence of Bhaichung Bhutia (who was in Malaysia at that time), their lament for depletion in key areas, one red-card (Alvito D'Cunha was thrown out last time) and the all-important nemesis in the form of Dora.
History hardly matched its reappearance so acutely.
About one year down the line, there was, however, no dearth of drama in the match, held under light. Two penalties (one missed), a power failure (forcing the game to be held up for 22 minutes) and East Bengal goalkeeper Rajat Ghosh Dastidar's ejection from the action (double booking), much to his coach's displeasure. All this was what made the derby so special, so joyous for someone and so heartbreaking for the other.
Then give damn to the tactics and strategies. It's this moving tale of dramatic turns and twists, induced and influenced by the derby pressure, that lingers.
Roberto Mendes Silva Beto put the defending champions into lead in the 40th minute when he converted the penalty-kick after Louis Aniweta handled the ball while challenging the Brazilian.
Three minutes later it could have been 1-1 as Shylo Malsawmtluanga earned East Bengal another spot-kick decision (though quite dubious) from the referee Binod Kumar Singh. Paolo, Beto's answer in the East Bengal camp, missed the opportunity. The equaliser eventually came in the 60th minute. As Paolo's header off a Surya Bikash chip came back into play after hitting the crossbar, Malsawmtluanga snapped up the rebound.
The match went on, sometimes in fast pace, sometimes going through motion, with opportunities gained and lost till the decision came in the shootout. Beto, Eduardo Coelho, Noel Wilson, Amit Das, Ashim Biswas, Mehtab Hussain and Dulal Biswas were spot-on, keeping the pressure on the rivals. East Bengal matched it blow by blow with Paolo, Climax Lawrence, Sasthi Duley, Madhab Das, Malsawmtluanga and Aniweta found the target. On the seventh occasion, it was Surya Bikash's turn and Dora rightly gauged his shot and saved it to the celebration of his teammates.
It was, indeed, Bhattacharya's reward to the supporters. But the coach and his wards are yet to cross the final hurdle and better remember the fact that since that September 28 evening, no trophy have come their way.
Beto, however, committed criminal mistakes when he shot off the target with just the goalkeeper to beat on two of the easiest chances in the match. So did Paolo as Dora outclassed him in one-to-one situations at least three times.
All this happened in a ground that was in poor conditions, as much as the referee's supervision. Apart from Rajat's marching order, he flashed the yellow cards eight times, some of them really arguable. That included the penalty for East Bengal.

Mohun Bagan: Prasanta Dora; Dulal Biswas, Mehrajuddin Wadao, Eduardo Coelho, Rishi Kapoor (Abhay Kumar 64); Mehtab Hussain, Basudeb Mondal (Ashim Biswas 73), Noel Wilson, Dharamjit Singh, Sunil Chhetri (Amit Das 90+2); Roberto Mendes Silva Beto.
East Bengal: Rajat Ghosh Dastidar; Madhab Das, Debjit Ghosh, Louis Aniweta, Sasthi Duley, Shylo Malsawmtluanga, Chandan Das (Bhola Prasad 81), Dipankar Roy (Amar Deb 85), Climax Lawrence, Bijen Singh (Surya Bikash Chakraborty 54), Paolo Roberto da Silva.
Referee: Binod Kumar Singh.

Source : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1041009/asp/sports/story_3861242.asp

East Bengal 2-1 Mohun Bagan : Durand Cup Final 2004

10.11.04, New Delhi: East Bengal captain Chandan Das could not have asked for a more fitting present ahead of his wedding than the Durand Cup. Moreover, both goals came from his feet as 10-man East Bengal defeated Mohun Bagan 2-1 to claim the Durand title for the 16th time on Wednesday.
Chandan, who is getting married on November 17, scored a goal in each half, a 22nd minute penalty and an injury time dream goal. He became the second player after Mohammed Habib (1970) to score two goals in an East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan Durand final. The captain also finished top-scorer for his club with four goals.
It was the red-and-gold outfit's first title of the season. And with this win they also revenged themselves, having lost the Durand final the last time they clashed in 1994.
East Bengal custodian Rajat Ghosh Dastidar joined a select group of players to have won the Durand with three different clubs (Mohun Bagan 2000, Salgaocar 2003 and East Bengal 2004).
Others who have achieved the feat include Peter Thangaraj, Syed Nayeemuddin, Shyam Thapa, I.M. Vijayan and Jo Paul Ancheri.
Ironically last season, the national champions had to submit to Rajat, who stopped two penalties off Bhaichung Bhutia and Mike Okoro in the shoot-out to help Salgaocar win the Durand title 4-3.
And once again he turned out to be the hero. He brought about some brilliant saves to stop the green-and-maroon players who were threatening to run away with the game at one point of time.
It was a triumph of character and passion for the champions. East Bengal did not play fluent attacking football but still managed to grind out a result. East Bengal's intentions were clear, stop Bagan's attacking midfielders and then move up on the counter.
But, when Madhab was shown the red card (following two bookable offences) in the 75th minute, Mohun Bagan held sway. And it was during this period that they scored the equaliser. A free-kick by Noel Wilson was unfortunately headed into his own goal by Douglas da Silva in the 76th minute with the keeper stranded.
The red-and-gold players benefited with the return of coach Subhas Bhowmick, who joined the team only on Tuesday night. Down by a man, he marshalled his men well to finally come up triumphs.
Earlier, the coach made an important switch, replacing Selwyn Fernandez, who was suffering from stomach upset, with Climax Lawrence just after the breather. And it was Climax's final touch that paved way for Chandan to secure the winner.
Jeremiah trapped a long clearance and drifted to the left before squaring on to Climax at the edge of the box. Climax held on and then squared it to Chandan, who was darting in on the right side of the box. From an acute angle, Chandan let fly a blistering, rising right-footer which bulged the far corner of the net.
Bagan were let down by their foreign imports. Striker James Ugwo could not cope with the pressure of a derby match and Eduardo Coelho got injured. Both had to be replaced within 40 minutes. Coelho's absence in defence was a big blow to the team.
It was Noel Wilson's error in the 22nd minute that led to East Bengal's opening goal. A corner was played short and Shylo Malsawmtluanga floated a cross to the far post. Douglas headed across the goal. Bagan defenders panicked and failed to clear the ball out of the box. Alvito D'Cunha, rushing in to take a shot was nudged from behind by Noel and referee P.K. Bose promptly awarded a penalty which Chandan converted.
The final was a battle of attrition, with lots of niggling fouls. Referee Bose struggled to keep control of proceedings. There was a fracas midway through the second half, when Bagan custodian Subrata Paul raced down the field to strike Jeremiah who had clashed with Noel. Both Subrata and Noel were shown yellow cards.
East Bengal coach Subhas Bhowmick said after the final Wednesday that his team had dedicated their Durand Cup triumph to Sasthi Duley and Dipankar Roy, the two players who are just out on bail after spending a week in jail in connection with their association with a hardcore criminal in Calcutta.
Meanwhile, the Durand committee felicitated five promising players in the tournament. Narendra Meetei (striker, Air India), T. Abdul Basheer (defender, SBT), Subrata Paul (goalkeeper, Mohun Bagan), Sukhjinder Singh (midfielder, JCT) and L. Mark Fernandez (midfielder, TFA).
East Bengal: Rajat Ghosh Dastidar, Akshay Das (Bijen Singh 85), Debjit Ghosh, Madhab Das, Selwyn Fernandez (Climax Lawrence 52), Habibur Rehman Mondal, Shylo Malsawmtluanga, Douglas da Silva, Chandan Das, Alvito D'Cunha and Ernest Jeremiah.
Mohun Bagan: Subrata Paul, Manitombi Singh, Dulal Biswas, Eduardo Coelho (Tomba Singh 40), Rishi Kapoor, Mehtab Hussain, Noel Wilson, Basudeb Mondal, Dharamjit Singh (Jerry Zirsanga 66), James Ugwo (Ashim Biswas 40) and Sunil Chhetri
Referee: P.K. Bose (Madhya Pradesh)

Source : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1041111/asp/sports/story_3991756.asp

East Bengal 0-0 Mohun Bagan : National Football League 2004-05

12.1.05, Calcutta: It happens like this only. They set a stage, far too big for the production and then spread their cast around, thinly, moving awkwardly in directions astern, mostly. Then, an hour and-a-half and shrill catcalls later, they blame the everybody else.
Thats how it happened, in the opening match of the National Football League, at the Salt Lake Stadium Wednesday.
Its just not football, surely not that beautiful game Pele was referring to. Mohun Bagan and East Bengal played goalless, directionless, and classless. And it all had to start with the Prime Minister of the country Dr Manmohan Singh, kicking a ball into the goal, and blessing the soccer fraternity to bigger, better goals from the ONGC Cup. The irony of it all was in the marching order given to Chandan Das of East Bengal, and to the referee did us in refrain re-emerging.
Nobody seemed amused, also, when a panel of experts decided East Bengal's Syed Rahim Nabi was Man of the Match. Even the untrained eye could see Mohun Bagan's Noel Wilson, their goalkeeper Prasanta Dora, even East Bengal goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee do better in this Cristiano de Lima Junior benefit match.
The match itself saw many hits and misses. The hits saw eight players booked by K. Shankar (Tamil Nadu), the referee of World Cup fame. Chandan Das drew two of them and was thrown out of the field in the 66th minute. Of the misses, the Rahim Nabi one in the second minute (turning one off the back of his head into goal while teammate Ernest Chukwuma Jeremiah's infringement was clear) had an interesting comment from a club official. We will send the video of the match to the AFC!
Bhaichung Bhutia was visibly uncomfortable on the ground, slow, hardly useful. East Bengal Coach Subhas Bhowmick, however, found streaks of brilliance in the trudge.
Football was scattered, sometimes up the middle, sometimes sliding down the wings, sometimes in long-ball advances. Everything was tried. But Mohun Bagan coach Subrata Bhattacharya's desire to give his fans some hope went down the drain. He badly wanted to win. One believes he simply wished for a victory, not craved for one.
The 50,000-odd strong crowd wasnt very sure they werent watching a friendly. Referee Shankar's booking of Nabi, Habibur Rehman Mondal, Douglas da Silva and Das (twice), all of East Bengal and Dulal Biswas, Mehraj ud-din Wadao, Eduardo Coelho and Dharamjit Singh Mohun Bagan, dispelled those doubts.
Count the misses: Twenty-one minutes into the match Mohun Bagan's Dharamjit's flag-kick reached the goalmouth, relayed by Roberto Mendes Silva Beto before Eduardo Coelho tapped out from close. Twelve minutes later Beto trapped one in the box and relayed goalwards, quickly, goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee saving. Two minutes passed, and Beto is back in the East Bengal defensive third, back-centring for Tomba Singh to drive into a diving Sangram.
It wasnt so biased, really. Four minutes from the break, at the other end, Das missed from inside the box. The goalkeepers earned their paycheques for the day, though.
East Bengal's Shylo Malsawmtluanga added to the misses tally, his 55th-minute volley from just inside the box being fisted over for a corner by Dora.
Then Nabi gave all the goose flesh. Twelve minutes to time, off a throw-in, Nabi shot over and missed from where few can. Dora punched to safety again when a Douglas free-kick dipped after clearing the wall. The derby stalls were closed, finally.

The Salt Lake Stadium was a sea of security personnel Wednesday. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was scheduled to inaugurate the National Football League for the ONGC Cup and traffic snarls and aimless waits and body searches were scheduled as well.
The Prime Minister wasnt the only VVIP on the dais Wednesday. AIFF president and Union minister Priya Ranjan Das Munshi had gathered along with the sponsorship of the league from ONGC chairman Subir Raha's table defence minister Pranab Mukherjee, state governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi, chief minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee as well as the PM's wife, Mrs Amrit Kaur.

Mohun Bagan: Prasanta Dora, Dulal Biswas, Mehraj ud-din Wadao, Eduardo Coelho, Mehtab Hussein, Tomba Singh, Basudeb Mondal (Jo Paul Ancheri, 79), Noel Wilson, Dharamjit Singh, Roberto Mendes Silva Beto (Jerry Zirsanga, 50), Ashim Biswas.
East Bengal: Sangram Mukherjee, Syed Rahim Nabi, Selwyn Fernandes, Habibur Rehman Mondal (Madhab Das, 84), Douglas da Silva, Sasthi Duley (Shylo Malsawmtluanga, 41), Chandan Das, Climax Lawrence, Ernest Chukwuma Jeremiah, Alvito D'Cunha, Bhaichung Bhutia.
Referee: K. Shankar (Tamil Nadu).

Source : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050113/asp/sports/story_4247450.asp

Mohun Bagan 0-1 East Bengal : National Football League 2004-05

24.4.05, Calcutta: A combination of good fortune and strong will gave East Bengal the desired result on a muggy Sunday afternoon at the Salt Lake Stadium.
As for Mohun Bagan, there was no change in their slide down relegation street in the National Football League (NFL) for the ONGC Cup.
There are four tough matches still to go for East Bengal (Mahindra and Salgaocar among them) but right now, they are perched atop the standings with a one-point advantage over Sporting Clube de Goa. Mohun Bagan, who haven't won a game in the last 10 rounds, are in ninth spot with three to play.
A Syed Rahim Nabi header fetched the red-and-golds the million-dollar goal after 75 minutes. As Man-of-the-Match Alvito D'Cunha curled in a routine left-footed cross, Eduardo Coelho stood mesmerised for reasons only he can explain. Nabi, who along with Sashthi Duley was planning to skip the game to answer office calls, pounced on the godsent opportunity to nod in with all the time in the world.
Ironically, the Mohun Bagan defence had withstood the limited East Bengal pressure rather well till then. Ajibade Babalade, who at times looks the world's ugliest defender, was, for a change, a tower of strength. With Bhaichung Bhutia absent and Ernest Jeremiah operating from a little deep, the big Nigerian had no problems in stymying Juliano Martins' threat.
East Bengal's sluggish approach in the first 45 minutes was paradoxical. The title-hunters almost played into their rivals' hands as they looked devoid of energy and purpose, with even Shylo Malsawmtluanga and Nabi a shadow of their normally lively self. But for an acrobatic effort by Juliano and a trademark through ball from Alvito, which the Brazilian made a mess of, there was nothing worth talking about.
Mohun Bagan, opting for the tried and tested rather than risk Pravin Rawat and Palash Karmakar, showed positive intentions in the first part of the game. Tomba Singh strode the middle of the park with authority, Mehtab Hussain and Basudeb Mondal lent support while Roberto Mendes Silva Beto produced some delicate touches.
Beto, in fact, should have scored in the 15th minute. He himself was the creator, evading a double-challenge, playing a one-two with Tomba and taking up position at the top of the box, only to direct his right-footer a couple of feet over the bar. Minutes later, the Brazilian then failed to connect an inviting Mehtab free-kick six yards from the goal.
Quarter of an hour into the contest, misfortune struck Mohun Bagan. A Basudeb chip struck Debjit Ghosh's hands deep into the penalty box. There couldn't have been a more genuine case for a penalty, but the referee Benjamin Silva ignored the green-and-maroons' passionate pleas.
If that was the Goan referee's sole blunder of the day, he committed at least three more mistakes. On two of those occasions, he could have awarded penalties one on either side. The first case was Nabi pushing Mehtab off possession with the Mohun Bagan medio threatening to score. Then there was a role-reversal as Nabi got disbalanced by Mehtab's touch and missed out nodding the ball into a yawning goal.
Mr Silva, who seemed to have forgotten something called the advantage rule, also erred in not sending off Bijen Singh when he hacked down Mehrajuddin Wadao. The East Bengal striker, who had replaced Juliano five minutes earlier, got away with a booking.
East Bengal's wake-up call came after change of ends and it was Alvito who showed the way with some searing runs and incisive passing. Jeremiah and Duley got into the act too, pushing Babalade & Co. to the limit.
A crafty Jeremiah left-footer from about 25 yards out was well palmed away by Subrata Pal. The young Mohun Bagan goalkeeper also kept out a Climax Lawrence flick after the latter had been set up by a clever Bijen lob.
East Bengal were, for the first time, looking hungry. The goal came not long after as Mohun Bagan maintained their tradition of caving in towards the closing stages of a match.
Subrata Bhattacharya had gone through this ordeal. It's the turn of veteran Dutta to live through the pain now.
East Bengal: Rajat Ghosh Dastidar, Selwyn Fernandes, M. Suresh, Debjit Ghosh, Sashthi Duley, Syed Rahim Nabi, S. Malsawmtluanga (Bijen Singh, 54), Climax Lawrence, Ernest Jeremiah, Alvito D'Cunha (Sandip Das, 80), Juliano Martins (Dipankar Roy, 62).
Mohun Bagan: Subrata Pal, Manitombi Singh, Ajibade Babalade, Eduardo Coelho, Rishi Kapoor, Mehrajuddin Wadao, Mehtab Hussain, Basudeb Mondal (Palash Karmakar, 46), Tomba Singh, Sunil Chhetri (Jerry Zirsanga, 59), Roberto Mendes Silva 'Beto.
Referee: Benjamin Silva (Goa).

Here is the match video :

Source : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050425/asp/sports/story_4657880.asp

Monday, 24 June 2013

Mohun Bagan 1-0 East Bengal : Calcutta Football League 1st Leg 2005-06

18.8.05, Calcutta: By saying that Mohun Bagan’s 1-0 victory over arch-rivals East Bengal was an upset, one might miss out on the vastness of its significance.
By saying that the matchwinner Gley Yao Rodrigue’s story followed one of those I-came-I-saw-I-conquered scripts, might not capture the pleasure of watching the promise of a foreign striker.
By saying that East Bengal had to suffer from one of those days when nothing went their way ' including captain Dipankar Roy’s failure to convert from the spot-kick ' would be an injustice to the way Mohun Bagan rose to the occasion or from the ashes, much like Michael Vaughan & Co. is now making their presence felt in the Australian camp.
It’s something that people love to watch and discuss with the posterity. Thursday’s CFL Premier League clash at the Salt Lake Stadium is sure to be added to Mohun Bagan’s archive. No doubt about this.
And how things turned around ever since Mohun Bagan made their first constructive attack towards the rival box. Arun Malhotra and Gurpreet Singh remained immobile allowing Manjit Singh to penetrate the area till Covan Lawrence came in the way with a timely tackle in the 17th minute. But there was Rodrigue waiting around the top box.
East Bengal defenders once again didn’t offer any challenge to the Togo World Cupper and his left-footer took a mild deflection off Lawrence and found the net through near post.
It just started a spectacle of free-flowing movement among the men in green-and-maroon jersey and reached a new height in the second-half when East Bengal showed the urgency to equalise. Before that Dipankar made a mess of a penalty kick, with two minutes to go from the breather.
The British referee Dave Richards, who officiated the match quite efficiently, was spot-on while awarding the spot-kick to the defending champions after Eduardo Coelho handed the ball in clearing a Jatin Bisht free-kick.
Dipankar must have been confused (as later vouchsafed by Mohun Bagan coach Amal Dutta) by the scene of goalkeeper Subrata Pal constantly jumping on the line. He struck outside to his right.
As Dipankar missed, Alvito D’Cunha was already leaving the ground, yielding his place to Shylo Malsawmtluanga.
Predictably East Bengal made their attacking intentions clear soon after the break. Sanjay Parte blocked Dipankar in the nick of time and Bisht’s 30-yard free-kick missed the target by inches.
Chandan Das replaced Dipankar in the 56th minute and it turned out to be a bad move. Chandan looked slow, a foil to East Bengal’s need to speed up the push for a goal.
On so many occasions in the last season, East Bengal mastered their traditional rivals. But this Mohun Bagan were ready to pay proper value to their lead. Their defence stood the test of East Bengal’s bursts.
It’s at that time Dutta’s system saw developing into some wonderful counter-moves. Two of them found Rodrigue absolutely clear inside the box and East Bengal goalkeeper Naseem Akhtar effected smothering saves on both occasions.
Subhas Bhowmick brought in I.M. Vijayan at that time. But with Mohun Bagan outnumbering the rivals on counter attacks hands down, it was always danger lurking in the red-and-gold area.
Tomba Singh and Dharamjit Singh were scorching the wings and Rodrigue left his markers Gurpreet Singh and Covan Lawrence clueless whenever he had the ball in his control.
One sweeping move after another seemed to be submerging East Bengal defence and had Akhtar not produced something spectacular, Rodrigue could have completed his hattrick and Dharamjit would have found himself on the scorers’ list.
Well, Bhowmick will be leaving now for updating his coaching lessons on foreign lands, leaving the task to his assistant Bikash Panji.
The latter, no doubt, will have a steep mountain to climb to make it four in a row in the local league because this Mohun Bagan side promises to deliver more such wonders under Dutta.
Mohun Bagan: Subrata Pal; Sanjay Parte, Mehrajuddin Wadao, Eduardo Coelho, Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, Tomba Singh (Jerry Zirsanga 85), Mehtab Hussain, Noel Wilson, Dharamjit Singh, Manjeet Singh (Basudeb Mondal 71), Gley Yao Rodrigue.
East Bengal: Naseem Akhtar; Sasthi Duley, Covan Lawrence, Arun Malhotra, Gurpreet Singh, Debabrata Roy, Dipankar Roy (Chandan Das 56), Bernard Pires, Jatin Bisht (I.M. Vijayan 67), Alvito D’Cunha (Shylo Malsawmtluanga 43), Syed Rahim Nabi.
Referee: Dave Roberts.

Source : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050819/asp/sports/story_5130931.asp

Mohun Bagan 1-0 East Bengal : Calcutta Football League 2nd Leg 2005-06

3.9.05, Calcutta: This is a lost-and-found story. This is a story of turnaround. This is the story of a team, who until recently, was ailing in its sick-bed and now finds itself in the pink of health, fit and running.
And this is also the story of a man who, for the umpteenth time in his career, has used his magic wand to make that turnaround possible.
When Amal Dutta took over, Mohun Bagan were a team without belief, a loosely-assembled side of half-fit players with no goal in sight. Relegation-threatened, the team and its supporters had nowhere to hide.
Dutta has shown that what happened on August 18 was no fluke. Rather it was the culmination of a process, which is nearing fulfilment.
The green-and-maroons have now vanquished their arch-rivals in successive matches and it is now up to the statisticians to find out when was the last time this happened. Not for donkey’s years, it seems.
Owing to a Gley Yao Rodrigue penalty, Mohun Bagan defeated East Bengal by a solitary goal in a (second leg) Calcutta Football League Premier Division match at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday.
Right from the kick-off till the end of the match, Dutta’s side took control of the midfield and stuck to their job. It must be said that they failed to open the goalmouth even once, but the ease with which Mohun Bagan dominated the attacking third was exemplary.
They were the more vibrant side. With Mehrajuddin Wadao (adjudged Man-of-the-Match) taking a lot of load and soaking up the pressure, to Tomba Singh (Player of the Match), who had a very good match as well, Bagan, whenever they went on the attack, had a purpose.
Which brings us to the Rodrigue factor. The Togolese had an ordinary game today. But his impact so far had been such that besides setting Habibur Rahman and Covan Lawrence on him, Bhowmick, it seems, had restricted his most potent weapon, Syed Rahim Nabi, to a mere right winger’s role.
Nabi hardly overlapped, as a result East Bengal failed to use the wings and their attacks, infrequent and disorganised, were easily stubbed out by the Bagan backline.
The red-and-golds looked a frustrated lot and were frequently without ideas. Three substitutions within the first 60 minutes (the first one as early as the 28th minute when Jayanta Sen was replaced by Jatin Bisht), and one feels even the coach lacked a plan.
East Bengal did create a chance in the first-half though. Shylo Malsawmtluanga had only Subrata Pal ahead of him when in the 24th minute, I.M. Vijayan set up a centre off the left wing in the rival box. The East Bengal captain, unbelievably, headed in the opposite direction, surprising even the rival goalkeeper!
In between, the death knell for Bhowmick’s side was sounded. Lady Luck smiled on Bagan in the 41st minute as Tomba Singh nodded in a perfectly innocuous ball in the rival box. Debabrata Roy had very little time to react and before he knew it, his hands had touched the ball and the referee had pointed at the dreaded spot.
Rodrigue’s shot proved two things. One, that he has a very cool head on his shoulders, and two, he knows his job.
His shot went along the carpet and entered through the second post, leaving no chance for Rajat Ghosh Dastidar.
When the second essay started, never did East Bengal show any real intent in getting the equaliser.
Barring a brilliant solo move by Malsawmtluanga in the 48th minute when he trapped the ball upfront and in a whisker turned to shoot it in the right-hand corner. Pal flew and fisted it above the post, a save which drew loud gasps from the crowd.
As the minutes wore on, the red-and-golds grew desperate and their attacks, few and far between, lacked cohesion.
The body language showed it all as even in the last 10 minutes, when teams who are lagging behind show an extra effort, East Bengal failed to stitch even a single move.
Bhaichung Bhutia made a surprise visit to the press box during the East Bengal-Mohun Bagan match with wife Madhuri and for all of 90 minutes, was attention personified.
Terming his three-month stint with Malaysian team MK Land “fruitful”, Bhaichung said, “It was necessary for me from a professional point of view.
“I am much fitter now and raring to go.”
Bhaichung, however, refused to divulge whether he will don a red-and-gold or a green-and-maroon shirt.
The force is now with Mohun Bagan.
Mohun Bagan: Subrata Pal; Sanjay Parte, Mehrajuddin Wadao, Eduardo Coelho, Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, Tomba Singh, Mehtab Hussain, Noel Wilson, Dharamjit Singh, A.S. Firoz, Gley, Yao Rodrigue.
East Bengal: Rajat Ghosh Dastidar; Covan Lawrence, Habibur Mondal, Syed Rahim Nabi, M. Suresh, Debabrata Roy (R.C. Prakash 60), Jayanta Sen (Jatin Bisht 28), Debjit Ghosh, Bernard Pires (Chandan Das 46), Shylo Malsawmtluanga, I.M. Vijayan.
Referee: Subrata Sarkar.

Source : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050904/asp/sports/story_5194887.asp

East Bengal 4-1 Mohun Bagan : IFA Shield 2005

27.11.05, Calcutta: It’s not known, but Amal Dutta must be cursing Biswajit Bhattacharya, the former Mohammedan Sporting coach, whose boys humiliated the red-and-golds 3-2 on Thursday.
Determined to prove a point or two ' to their critics, supporters and, of course, arch-rivals Mohun Bagan ' the new and improved East Bengal shook off their lethargy and inflicted one of the worst defeats in the Mohun Bagan coach’s career, the green-and-maroons going down 1-4 in an IFA Shield match at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Sunday.
It was 1997 revisited for the veteran Dutta, whose boys, notwithstanding a 20-minute burst towards the end of the match, looked thoroughly out of sorts, disoriented and were outplayed in all parts of the game. And it didn’t help that Subrata Pal at times gave the impression that he lacks basic goalkeeping skills.
In contrast, everything fell in place for Subhas Bhowmick. Under pressure for losing the last two clashes against the arch-rivals and without any silverware this season, Bhowmick can now breathe a little easy. The semi-final too doesn’t seem a distant dream now.
And if an impression had been generated that it’s not possible to win derbies without foreigners, then it was left to one Alvito D’Cunha to disprove it.
The East Bengal midfielder played an inspired game, netting two and setting another, with Chandan Das and Mike Okoro scoring one each. Akeem Abolanle was the lone scorer for Bagan.
The match, though, differed from the usual derby fare with the teams locked in the midfield to gain control. That it didn’t owe a lot to the quick goal and even quicker equaliser.
Eight minutes into the match, East Bengal earned a free-kick at least 30 yards off the post. Chandan Das ambled up and placed a neat right-footer that took one deflection and went past the hapless Pal into the second post to make it 1-0.
Five minutes later, Bagan’s Subhasis Roy Chowdhury, who otherwise had a forgettable game, managed to send an innocuous-looking pass through to Akeem, who collected it coolly inside the box, turned and placed it past the second post. It is debatable whether defenders Covan Lawrence and Arun Malhotra, who didn’t move an inch, were admiring Akeem’s skills.
Just when the game seemed to meander a bit, out came another brilliant free-kick by D’Cunha in the 28th minute. He floated the right-footer inside the box, which Okoro gleefully accepted and headed it home. Pal, who should have come out challenging, seemed rooted to the spot. It was not only a case of bad defending, worse, the way Okoro was allowed to meet the ball inside the six yards, must raise serious questions about Pal’s abilities.
If Bagan supporters thought Pal had already committed his worst blunder, as if to prove them wrong, in the 42nd minute, the goalkeeper did something which was unbelievable. Instead of throwing it to one of his teammates after goal-kick, he put the ball straight into Alvito’s path, who after the initial shock, placed a searing left-footer into the net to make it 3-1. Needless to say, no defenders were around.
If Dutta was already handicapped by Noel’s leaving the ground ' due to an injury ' in the 17th minute, he was desperate now. Jerry Zirsanga had replaced Harbinder just before the third goal, and Dutta was seriously handicapped.
After the lemon break, though, Bagan seemed to have gained some of their old form back. They started stitching passes and though their attacks were largely absorbed by the East Bengal defence, yet Gley Yao Rodrigue managed to send the red-and-gold hearts a flutter when his scorching right-footer hit the crossbar in the 52nd minute.
Bagan performance graph then took a downward spiral as East Bengal slowly throttled them.
The icing on East Bengal cake came in injury time when the spectators and the media were leaving their seats. Alvito sprinted through in a solo move and chased by Bagan defenders, went parallel to the goalline on the left flank. His left-footer took everyone, including the beleaguered Pal, by surprise as it entered the goal from a zero angle.
Blaming Pal squarely for the debacle against the arch-rivals, club secretary Anjan Mitra said he has been asked to reply within 15 days.
“Our contract (with the goalie) clearly mentions that Pal has to give his hundred per cent. Within the next 15 days, he must specify why he failed to do so. He has been asked not to join practice till the club decides otherwise. His performance today was shameful and has brought the club into disrepute,” Mitra said.
Mitra’s announcement came within hours of Dutta’s declaration (during the post-match media conference) that some of Pal’s actions during the match were “funny”.
The Mohun Bagan coach held the goalkeeper responsible for all but one goal conceded by the green-and-maroons and stopped short of levelling charges of “being bribed” at him.
“The way Pal committed school-boyish errors had to be seen to be believed”, Dutta said, adding: “Specifically, he had no business throwing the ball at an advancing Alvito. In any case, Alvito was coming through the middle, and he should have thrown the ball at the flanks.”
This was East Bengal’s day after all.
East Bengal: Naseem Akhtar; Sasthi Duley, Covan Lawrence, Arun Malhotra, M. Suresh, Soumik Dey, Bernard Pires (K. Kulothungan 89), Chandan Das, Alvito D’Cunha, Mike Okoro, Sydney Nkalanga (S. Malsawmtluanga 82).
Mohun Bagan: Subrata Pal, Sanjay Parte, A. Suliman Feroze, Sanjib Maria, Rajib Ahmed, Noel Wilson (Basudeb Mondal 17), Subhasis Roy Chowdhury, Dharamjit Singh, Harbinder Singh (Jerry Zirsanga 38), Gley Yao Rodrigue, Akeem Abolanle.
Referee: Subrata Sarkar.

Source : http://www.telegraphindia.com/archives/archive.html

Mohun Bagan 0-0 East Bengal : National Football League 1st Leg 2005-06

22.1.06, Calcutta: East Bengal were held to a barren draw by arch-rivals Mohun Bagan in a 10th National Football League match for the ONGC Cup at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday.
The result may be a relieving one for both the coaches. But for Jahar Das, the task just became more challenging as Bagan are yet to taste victory in this premier tournament.
The red and gold brigade up-front, with injured Bhaichung Bhutia and Mike Okoro, created chances but failed to find the net even on a single occasion. De Ridder’s side were on the attacking mode right from the word go. In the first five minutes, Bagan conceded four-corners, but luckily for them, East Bengal failed to convert.
In fact, the corners would have been better directed if Alvito D’Cunha had been around and coach Phillipe De Ridder accepted the fact that he missed the experience of the injured midfielder.
Had it not been for the profligacy of captain Bhaichung Bhutia, the red and gold brigade should have scored on at least three occasions, having created as many as eight chances in the course of the match.
Just five minutes before the breather, Okoro had a solo run from the centre-half, gave a diagonal pass to Syed Rahim Nabi in the box. Nabi relayed it back to Bhaichung whose right footer fell at the feet of the Bagan goalie Imran Khan. He fumbled but then grabbed the ball safely.
Fourteen minutes after the lemon break, Bhaichung got another chance but failed to deliver again. This time it was Anupam Sarkar’s diagonal pass in the box to the star-striker, who had only the goalie to beat. Bhutia shot wide.
Bagan on the other hand, were disorganised in the mid-field and failed to create any clear scoring chance.
East Bengal: Naseem Akhtar, Anupam Sarkar, Covan Lawrence, Ngassa Martial, Saumik Dey (Sasthi Duley 69), Shylo Malsawmtluanga, Jayanto Sen, Ndem Herve, Syed Rahim Nabi, Mike Okoro, Bhaichung Bhutia.
Mohun Bagan: Imran Khan, Suleiman Firoz, Eduardo Coelho, Mehrajuddin Wadao, Manjit Singh (Basudeb Mondal 78), Tomba Singh, Subhasish Roy Chowdhury (Dharamjit Singh 53), Mehtab Hussain, Coffi Agbessi, Awudu Ibrahim.
Referee: Rizwan-ul-Haque (Delhi).

Source : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1060123/asp/sports/story_5755181.asp

East Bengal 1-0 Mohun Bagan : National Football League 1st Leg 2006-07

27.2.07, Calcutta: Chima Okerie is a strong advocate of Arsene Wenger’s youth policy.
Drawing an inspiration from the young Arsenal’s show against Chelsea in the English League Cup final, the Mohun Bagan coach asked his youthful brigade — after Bhaichung Bhutia was ruled out and Jose Ramirez Barreto limped off the field inside 10 minutes — to stand up and be counted against East Bengal in their first-leg ONGC National Football League (NFL) tie on Monday.
The Lalkamal Bhowmicks and PC Lalawmpuias were truly exquisite and exceptional for Mohun Bagan at the Salt Lake Stadium. But experience had the last laugh and Saumik Dey’s 15-minute knockout punch helped East Bengal emerge 1-0 winners.
Carlos Roberto Pereira’s side is now enjoying the provisional lead with 14 points while Mohun Bagan remain rooted on seven points from as many matches.
This was a night when Mohun Bagan needed a leader to stand up to East Bengal’s challenge. They found one in Lalawmpuia. All players look up to a derby as the ideal stage to stamp their class. Tuesday’s clash of titans could’ve been a perfect script for the youngster to go into the footballing folklore in the Maidan.
Lalawmpuia conjured a compelling night with his searing run, rattling the rival defence at will to stage Mohun Bagan’s fightback almost single-handedly.
But his efforts were matched ounce by ounce by another youngster Abhra Mondal. The third-choice East Bengal custodian has mostly spent life on the bench in the season, but when an opportunity came calling, he grabbed it with both hands.
Whenever Lalawmpuia broke free and spelled danger in the East Bengal backline, Abhra turned out to be his spoilsport. The teenaged ’keeper denied the Mohun Bagan striker at least on three occasions from one-to-one situations.
No doubt, the selection of East Bengal midfielder Jayanta Sen as the Man-of-the-Match defied logic.
Panic hit the Mohun Bagan camp early when captain Barreto left the field after pulling a hamstring in the 10th minute. They appeared to have lost the plot there as midfield looked rudderless without the Brazilian creator. The wings remained unattended to, Mehtab Hussain — snatched from India’s Jordan-bound pre-Olympic qualifying squad — and Lalkamal sparkled, but it was not enough to extinguish the fires from East Bengal, who were keen on taking full advantage of the situation.
Indecision reigned supreme in the Mohun Bagan defence when they conceded the goal in the 15th minute. Favio misjudged the line of Alvito D’Cunha’s chip and sideback Manas Das and central defender Deepak Mondal were caught off guard as Izumi Arata chested the ball — though in a bit sloppy manner — inside the box. An unmarked Saumik, coming from the left side, headed in.
In a further blow to the defence, Favio also departed the field injured on the half-hour mark. In between, Deepak’s timely interception denied Ambani, Sangram Mukherjee tipped over an Edmilson volley and Saumik’s intended cross hit the post.
Alvito — who had to undergo overnight treatment to get fit for the match — could only last for 36 minutes and his replacement, Shylo Malsawmtluanga, was in line with Pereira’s push for blocking all possible escape routes for the rivals.
Just when everything seemed pre-ordained in East Bengal’s favour, Lalawmpuia gave a new twist to the plot. Inside the first 12 minutes of the second session, he pushed East Bengal completely on the backfoot. But he lacked Bhaichung’s finishing and Abhra was there to ensure the night became colourful for East Bengal.
Wenger’s Arsenal lost the match to Chelsea, so did Chima’s Mohun Bagan. However, the Nigerian and his faith in the youth provided the ultimate thrill to the drama at the Salt Lake Stadium.
“If these players are willing to learn, they can be the future of India,” Chima later said of the Lalawmpuias. Even after the loss, no body is arguing with him.
East Bengal: Abhra Mondal; Vincent Pires, Christiano Oliviera, M. Suresh, Saumik Dey; Izumi Arata, Bibiano Fernandes (Chandan Das, 64), Jayanta Sen, Alvito D’Cunha (Shylo Malsawmtluanga, 36), Edmilson (Ashim Biswas, 89), Boniface Ambani.
Mohun Bagan: Sangram Mukherjee; Deepak Mondal, Favio Cortez (Sanjeev Maria 34), Mehrajuddin Wadao, Manas Das; Chinmoy Sarkar, Lalkamal Bhowmick, Jose Ramirez Barreto (Surajit Bose, 11, Dipendu Biswas, 78), Mehtab Hussain, Suman Dutta; PC Lalawmpuia.
Referee: Dinesh Nair (Gujarat).
Man-of-the-Match: Jayanta Sen.

Source : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1070228/asp/sports/story_7450843.asp

East Bengal 3-2 Mohun Bagan : Federation Cup Semifinal 2007

11 September 07, Ludhiana: Subrata Bhattacharya proved on Tuesday that he could be a master at work when faced with a tough situation.
His tactical nous had been a hallmark of his stint with Mohun Bagan from 1999 to 2002. During that period, the green-and-maroon side bagged two National Football League titles and the man who orchestrated it became first Indian to win the AFC Coach of the Month award.
Now in a different role and under pressure to deliver, Bhattacharya’s masterstroke felled his old team, bringing smiles to the red-and-gold camp and, perhaps, saving his skin as well.
It came in the 17th minute with the form of striker Dipendu Biswas replacing sideback Debabrata Roy. East Bengal were trailing by a Bhaichung Bhutia goal, but Bhattacharya’s move had such a telling effect on the match that Mohun Bagan’s back was broken and East Bengal took control of the proceedings to emerge 3-2 winners in a pulsating Federation Cup semi-final.
It was also a sweet revenge for that 3-4 loss in the CFL Premier Division, which was hanging like the proverbial sword of Damocles on Bhattacharya’s head.
East Bengal will take on the winners of Mahindra United and Dempo SC in the final on Saturday.
A pity that less than thousand fans were witness to such a high-voltage drama at the Guru Nanak Dev Stadium.
A jarring note in Bhattacharya’s tactical symmetry, however, came in the final half an hour. Had the East Bengal coach displayed the same acumen at that time, it wouldn’t have been such a struggle for the red-and-yellow brigade.
When Bhaichung put Mohun Bagan ahead in the 11th minute, Bhattacharya looked a shattered man. But his sense of game-reading forced him to take a smooth-functioning Debabrata out within six minutes, paving the way for Dipendu’s arrival as Asim Biswas’ partner upfront. Dipendu made up superbly for the absence of the Brazilian Edmilson, who watched the proceedings from the bench, nursing a hamstring tear.
Dipendu, for the next half an hour, tore open the Mohun Bagan defence with electrifying moves that fetched East Bengal three goals. While Dipendu scored a goal himself, he was the brain behind the other two.
His magic started in the 25th minute when the seasoned striker screamed down the right after receiving the ball from Habibur Rehman. His cross at the goalmouth was so perfect that Surkumar Singh looked all at ease when his low shot beat goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee hands down.
East Bengal had no intention of reducing the pressure and went into the lead in the 35th minute.
This time Rahim Nabi and Dipendu worked in tandem to script the goal, producing a stunning passing bout to invade the rival box before Dipendu finished the move with a clinical shot. The match looked beyond Bagan’s grasp when Asim scored the third goal for his team four minutes into the second half.
The pass was provided by Dipendu but Asim brought the spectators on their feet with remarkable agility and dodging.
But Mohun Bagan brought life to the match, Barreto stunning Paul with a brilliant header. Thereafter, East Bengal had to fight with their backs to the wall and, but for Paul’s courageous performance, Mohun Bagan would have levelled scores.
Packing further punch, coach Carlos Roberto Pereira brought in P. C. Lalawmpuia and Lalkamal Bhowmick to reinforce the Mohun Bagan attack.
It was surprising that Bhattacharya, during that period, persisted with both strikers — Dipendu and Asim — and didn’t introduce a snatcher to put a curb on the marauding Mohun Bagan. Though he did bring in Abdul Samed in the 84th minute in a late realisation. But it was East Bengal’s day and Bhattacharya had the last laugh.
East Bengal coach Subrata Bhattacharya on Tuesday dedicated their win to their supporters.
“I wanted to give something to my supporters for their faith in the team. This victory is for them,” said Bhattacharya, following their 3-2 semi-final victory over Mohun Bagan in the Federation Cup.
“I am very happy for the boys. They played their hearts out. Mohun Bagan did well but we were better. It was a very competitive match,” he said.
On bringing in Dipendu Biswas for Debabrata Roy, he said: “I took a chance. I had a plan and we did accordingly. The substitution was to ensure we did not stop attacking.”
Bhattacharya denied there was any complacency after the team went 3-1 ahead. “You can’t afford to be complacent at this level.”
Asked why they went on the defensive in the last 15 minutes, Bhattacharya said: “It is an Indian phenomenon. Most Indian teams tend to become defensive after taking the lead.”
Bhattacharya had a word of praise for Dipendu and Rahim Nabi. “They were crucial today. Nabi is one of the best in my team.”
Mohun Bagan coach Carlos Roberto Pereira said, “I wish we had played the first-half like the second-half. We took the lead and tried to sit on it. It was a mistake.”
Pereira noted: “The goals we let in came from midfield lapses. My man of the match was Barreto. He played everywhere.”
East Bengal: Subrata Paul; Surkumar Singh, M. Suresh, Majek Bolaji, Saumik Dey; Syed Rahim Nabi, Jayanta Sen, Mehrajuddin Wadao (Abdul Samed, 84th), Alvito D’Cunha, Debabrata Roy (Dipendu Biswas, 17th ); Asim Biswas.
Mohun Bagan: Sangram Mukherjee; Habibur Rehman, Sanjeev Maria, Peter Odafe, Rauf Khan (P.C. Lalawmpuia, 54th); James Singh, Mohammed Gafari, Suman Dutta (Lalkamal Bhowmick, 42nd), Dharamjit Singh; Jose Ramirez Barreto, Bhaichung Bhutia.
Referee: K. Sankar.

Source : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1070912/asp/sports/story_8306749.asp

East Bengal 1-1 Mohun Bagan : Calcutta Football League 2nd Leg 2008-09

12.9.08, Calcutta: Mohun Bagan claimed their 28th local league title on Friday, drawing 1-1 against archrivals East Bengal at the Salt Lake Stadium and picking up the required point that took them out of second placed Mohammedan Sporting’s reach in the Sahara CFL Premier Division.
The afternoon sun was beating down, the usually vacant stands were brimming with colour — equal measures of red, gold, green and maroon, of course — and the roads leading to the stadium were choc-a-bloc.
The mood was perfect for the derby, one that had a lot riding on it. With Mohun Bagan under tremendous pressure, starting with a back four who have never played together, East Bengal expectedly made a brisk start. Rino Anto, Anand Vasan, N.S. Manju and Mohan Raj (who has been no stranger to defensive lapses this season) were tested by Sunil Chhetri and Ashim Biswas within the first ten minutes.
In the seventh minute Mohan Raj brought down Ashim inside the box, but referee Mrinanshu Bhattacharya snubbed penalty claims. A blatant shirt tug by Mohan on Ashim saw the referee brandish the first yellow card of the afternoon.
He went on to book eight players in a match that saw a generous measure of dissent from players and coaches, as well as sly fouls from both sets of players. Both teams took time to settle, mostly playing square passes with East Bengal making occasional forays down the wings.
In the 22nd minute Bagan took the lead, completely against the run of play after a Nirmal Chhetri mistimed tackle on Malswamtluanga won them a just penalty. With the league title at stake, Jose Ramirez Barreto stepped up and scored from the spot, sending home an unstoppable shot that found the top left hand corner.
The goal took the wind out of East Bengal as the creativity in the midfield evaporated. Alvito D’Cunha, Sanju Pradhan and Syed Rahim Nabi’s crosses from the flanks were being cut off comfortably before they could reach Sunil or Ashim upfront.
It was a similar story for Manoranjan Bhattacharjee’s side in the second period, playing without Nabi (taken off after a kick in the face from S. James Singh) and Mehrajuddin Wadoo and substitute C. Malsawmkima being outthought by young Rakesh Masih and S. James Singh. Sangram Mukherjee under the bars for Bagan went largely untested, protected well by his back four and the defensive midfielders. Barreto too was seen falling back, helping out his side.
A wonder strike from substitute Edmilson Marques in the 83rd minute put the celebrations on hold for Bagan, temporarily. The Brazilian’s powerful right-footed freekick flew past Sangram into the goal bringing a fresh spark in East Bengal’s play. But it came a little too late for the red-and-gold brigade as Bagan hung on for the draw, buoyed by Bhaichung Bhutia’s presence on field for the last few minutes.

As East Bengal coach Manoranjan Bhattacharjee was walking towards the media briefing room, two supporters drenched in sweat and weeping piteously ran up to him and in voices hoarse with panic, complained that the Mohun Bagan supporters were attacking them. An already troubled Bhattacharjee, rumours are he stands losing his job after Friday’s draw, turned to them, and in his usual impassive way said: “This is the first time I’ve heard of East Bengal supporters getting beaten up.”
Whether that implied shock or underscored the innocence of the EB fans is hard to say, but what can be said for a fact, is that the East Bengal partisans along with those belonging to rivals Mohun Bagan participated with alacrity in the hustle, bustle and bloodshed that accompanied the final derby of the CFL Premier Division.
The flashpoint came with East Bengal’s equaliser in the 83rd minute. The VIP box erupted in a clamour of war cries. This was accompanied by a pitched battle which saw pet bottles being used as missiles; also an uprooted chair. Throughout the match the kops greeted every unwelcome decision with a rain of bottles onto the pitch.
Some came close to hitting the players. Club authorities and supporters from both sides were up in arms over charges of bad refereeing and alleged high-handedness of the police. However, the situation never really spun out of control.
After Friday’s derby draw, that saw East Bengal finish the Sahara CFL Premier Division at third place with 25 points from 14 games the tell tale signs of fatigue and frustration were showing on coach Manoranjan Bhattacharjee.
Speaking to the media after the match, Manoranjan gave the biggest hint that he may be stepping down as East Bengal coach before the start of the I-League. He said, “I haven’t yet heard the rumours of a foreign coach replacing me, but I can tell you this much that I have given a verbal hint to the club officials, expressing my desire to step down.”
He added soon after that the decision is likely to be announced on Sunday, after he hands in a written request to the club. It has been learnt that Stanley Rozario, Bob Houghton’s assistant in the national set-up is most likely to take the helm at East Bengal.
While offering his congratulations to league champions Mohun Bagan, Manoranjan slammed the refereeing, claiming his side should have been awarded a penalty, if not two.
“Manju had handled the ball in the box and the foul on Ashim, early in the match should have been a penalty too.”Manoranjan went on to list four second leg matches—against Railway FC, Mohammedan Sporting, Camellia George Telegraph and Friday’s game against his own side—where Mohun Bagan were saved thanks to the referee.
Karim Bencharifa seemed a contented man, having delivered in his first challenge after coming to Calcutta. He said: “It wasn’t easy…We were under great pressure from the media, opponents and weighed down by the expectations of our fans…But we’ve proved today that we deserve respect from all quarters.”
Speaking about his team’s preparations shrouded by off the pitch drama on the eve of the big clash, Bencharifa quipped, “Everything was going against us. We were without Deepak (Mondal), Habibur and Peter (Odafe). Bhaichung and Mohan Raj hadn’t trained and young Rino Anto was low on confidence. But I had told the players before the match that we all either do or die together.”
Mohun Bagan:
Sangram Mukherjee, Rino Anto, J. Anand Vasan, N.S. Manju, N. Mohan Raj (Rahul Kumar 76), S. Malswamtluanga, Rakesh Masih, S. James Singh, Lalram Luaha, Jose Ramirez Barreto (L. James Singh 84), P.C. Lalawmpuiya (Bhaichung Bhutia 90)
East Bengal: Subrata Paul, Surkumar Singh, Nirmal Chhetri, Suley Musah, Saumik Dey, Sanju Pradhan (Parveen Kumar 74), Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Alvito D’Cunha (Edmilson Marques 53), Syed Rahim Nabi (C. Malsawmkima 35), Ashim Biswas, Sunil Chhetri
Referee: Mrinanshu Bhattacharya
Man of the Match: Rakesh Masih

Source : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080913/jsp/sports/story_9827950.jsp

Mohun Bagan 1-1 East Bengal : I-League 1st Leg 2008-09

25.10.08, Calcutta: Mohun Bagan and East Bengal shared a point apiece as Saturday’s crucial derby of the ONGC I-League ended at 1-1 at the Salt Lake Stadium.
The result compounds the ‘Big Two’s’ miseries, particularly Bagan’s, who are struggling to keep pace with three points from five matches. East Bengal are mid-table, managing seven points.
Sangram Mukherjee’s absence from the starting XI and Lalkamal Bhowmick’s inclusion in the wide right position were the only surprises in Karim Bencharifa’s choice of ammunition. As expected, Jayanta Sen started ahead of Mehrajuddin Wadoo in the heart of the East Bengal midfield.
The usual cagey start associated with big ties wasn’t to be seen this time round as Mohun Bagan went ahead in the very first minute.
Man of the Match Ishfaq Ahmed, who did a Forrest Gump running his socks off down the flanks, fed Bhaichung Bhutia inside the box.
Bhaichung brought the ball down and burst into the space left between Suley Musah and M. Suresh. His subsequent shot was on target and surprisingly eluded Subrata Paul’s grasp. Bagan were one up, with Paul’s ‘invincible’ tag suddenly sounding embarrassing.
The desire to win from both sides was reflected in the hard tackles and endless running in the middle third.
As the game proceeded, Rakesh Masih, who started after shaking off a hamstring injury, stamped his authority in the midfield as Jayanta Sen and Chhangte Malsawmkima looked largely clueless. The flair and composure expected from Bagan’s much touted foreign recruit Marcos Perreira, was absent.
East Bengal equalised and sent Stanley Rozario dancing (momentarily of course) in the technical area, as Syed Rahim Nabi struck in the 38th minute. Marcos lost the ball in his own half, muscled out by Jayanta and Nabi.
Nabi then released Yakubu down the right, who, after a quick stepover, sent a precise through for Nabi, who, meanwhile, had given Habibur Rahaman and Peter Odafe the slip. Nabi opened up his body ever so slightly and slipped it in past Shilton.
Rozario’s men could have gone into the break 2-1 up, had Sunil Chhetri’s effort from close range not been saved by Shilton.
The second period started with a moment of madness from Surkumar. The right back picked up a straight red card after kicking out at Rakesh Masih and subsequently pushing down Bhaichung.
East Bengal relied on counter attacks led by the effervescent Yakubu. In the 78th minute he first beat the hapless Anand Vasan and then dodged past Deepak Mondal, leaving himon the floor. The move though fizzled out as Yakubu’s pass to substitute Sanju Pradhan was wasted.
As the two sets of fans went home happy at not having lost to their archrivals, news streamed in that over in Goa, Churchill Brothers moved up to the second spot in the I-League thrashing Vasco. Pride and prestige were intact on a rainy evening, who’s worried about the top half of the league anyway.
One could sense the pressure on Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencharifa as he walked in for the post-match press conference with a sombre face. His team have managed a meagre three points from five games and are still without a win.
Though Bencharifa insisted that he’s a “professional” and the result won’t affect his or the team’s morale, he couldn’t help but admit that Saturday’s derby draw against East Bengal was “disappointing”.
He said: “I am very disappointed with the result, but the point is not bad for the long run. It was after all, the first game that I had my full team, including all three foreigners. I am disappointed with the result but not with the team,” he clarified.

While asserting his faith on the players and club officials, Bencharifa repeatedly spoke about the pressure on his team. “There’s tremendous pressure on the players. It’s not easy to be a Mohun Bagan player on the pitch at the moment,” the Moroccan spelt out.
When asked about Marcos Perreira’s contribution, Bencharifa said: “There’s no doubt that Marcos has quality… It’s just that Marcos, Bhaichung and Habibur were all lacking match sharpness.”
The Bagan coach singled out over confidence as a possible factor for not capitalising on the one-man advantage that his side had over the opposition. “We got overconfident after East Bengal were reduced to 10 men, while they motivated themselves to do well,” Bencharifa signed off.
Bagan skipper Bhaichung Bhutia dismissed Surkumar Singh’s shove as something that happened “in the heat of the moment”.
Bhaichung, at least, seemed more hopeful of his side’s chances than his coach did. “Other big teams haven’t started very well either, so there’s still hope for us… I can guarantee you this much that the I-League will be won by a team from Bengal this year,” Bhaichung signed off.
The man at the helm of East Bengal, Stanley Rozario seemed thoroughly pleased with his first derby outing.
“It was a fantastic experience, the spectators encouraged us so much… And I am satisfied with a point.” Rozario was full of praise for his team and singled out Yusif Yakubu for special mention. “He (Yakubu) was outstanding, it was almost a one man show!”
Asked if he was satisfied with his team’s tally of seven points from five matches, Rozario answered: “10 points would have been better.”
Mohun Bagan: Shilton Paul(Sangram Mukherjee, 46’), Deepak Mondal, Jose Ramirez Barreto, Ishfaq Ahmed (L. James Singh, 91’), Peter Odafe, Bhaichung Bhutia, Rakesh Masih, Ananda Vasan, Marcos Perreira, Lalkamal Bhowmick(S.Malswamtluanga, 31’)
East Bengal: Subrata Paul, M. Suresh (Nirmal Chhetri, 46’), Suley Musah, Jayanta Sen, Sunil Chhetri, Yusif Yakubu, Mehatab Hossain(Sanju Pradhan, 74’), Syed Rahim Nabi, Surkumar Singh, C. Malsawmkima(Mehrajuddin Wadoo, 87’), Saumik Dey
Referee: Pradeep Kumar
MoM: Ishfaq Ahmed

Source : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1081026/jsp/sports/story_10021709.jsp

East Bengal 1-1 (3-5) Mohun Bagan : Federation Cup Semifinal 2008

18.12.2008, Calcutta: Mohun Bagan struck a devastating blow to defending champions East Bengal, defeating them 5-3 (1-1) via a nail-biting tie-breaker to qualify for their seventeenth Federation Cup final on Thursday.
They will now lock horns with Dempo SC in the finals on Sunday.
After regulation time failed to produce a winner, Jose Ramirez Barreto, Marcos Pereira, Lalkamal Bhowmick, P.C. Lalawmpuiya and Lukram James Singh all scored for the green-and-maroon brigade in the shoot-out. Bagan custodian Sangram Mukherjee saved Sunil Chetri’s shot after Parveen Kumar, Mehtab Hossain, and Jayanta Sen had all converted for East Bengal.
They thus extended their unbeaten streak against East Bengal to nine games at the Salt Lake Stadium.
Earlier, the city rivals were tied 1-1 after extra time. While a spirited red-and-gold brigade went into the lead with a brilliant Sanju Pradan left-footer in the 61st minute an equally threatening Bagan took another eight minutes to restore parity via a Jose Ramirez Barreto header off a Marcos Pereira free-kick from the left.
In what was an electrifying derby, the archrivals started on an aggressive note.
Back to back forays, counter attacks, shots hitting the bars, chances squandered, goalkeepers on both ends messing up things and Bhaichung Bhutia trying a sneaky ‘Hand of God’ summed up the clash of the titans.
Sunil Chetri came up with an ambitious attempt with the match only eight minutes old. A well-timed run to meet a loose ball, but the Delhi-boy headed it over the bar.
Moments later, it was Mohun Bagan challenging Subrata Paul, who replaced Abhra Mondal in the goal. From left half of the top box a Marcos Pereira free-kick swung in over the wall, and a casual Paul had the ball bounce dangerously in front of goal before hitting the post and going out of play.
Five minutes later Suley Musah came up with a long ball from the left for an unmarked Sunil Chetri who managed to release a shot only to witness Sangram pull off a great diving save.
The green-and-maroon brigade, equally dangerous on the day bounced back with an Ishfaq Ahmed header off a James Singh corner that too went on to hit the bar before going out of play.
However, Bagan at times enjoyed the upper hand, forcing their rivals to commit more men in defence. Musah did a fine job along with Syed Rahim Nabi. But, abrasive football from Mehrajuddin Wadoo and Nirmal Chetri earned them bookings.
Goalkeeper Subrata Paul, Nirmal Chetri, Jayanta Sen and Sunil Chetri were all booked.
Coach Stanley Rozario after the change of ends, brought in Alvito D’Cunha for the Nigerian Musah. And Alvito was just on target. Within two minutes the sturdy Goan took the free-kick that swung in and deflected off Rakesh Masih for the opportunistic Sanju Pradhan to shoot it in.
But that was not all. Bagan took another eight minutes to come back stronger. Thereafter it was another story of forays and counter forays without any result. However, Ishfaq came close to scoring in the 72nd minute but could do no better than to hit the post with his right footer off a Bhaichung Bhutia cross from the centre.
What East Bengal lacked on the day was confidence. It was the thin diving line between the two on the day that saw some lively soccer.
Mohun Bagan are likely to miss Bhaichung Bhutia in the 30th Federation Cup final against Dempo SC.
The Sikkimese sniper was taken off the field after he suffered a knee-injury during the extra time action.
According to club sources, Bhutia who was immediately taken to the hospital will undergo an MRI on Friday before any decision is taken about his availability for Sunday.
“We can’t say anything now. He will undergo an MRI scan tomorrow… We need to consult the doctor,” the Bagan official said.
However, sources close to the Indian captain revealed that he will be out of action for at least two months.
Meanwhile, in the first semi-final of the evening, striker Ranty Martins fell unconscious on ground after he collided head on with Churchill defender Kalu N. Ogba during a corner kick in the 73rd minute.
Both Ranty and Kalu were rushed to a nearby hospital and were later declared ‘out of danger’ by the doctors. It was learnt that the duo’s CT scans revealed no internal injury. However, they were not immediately released and will have another check-up on Friday morning.
Mohun Bagan
: Sangram Mukherjee, Habibur Rehman Mondal, J. Anand Vasab (Lalkamal Bhowmick, 10), N. Mohan Raj, Deepak Mondal, Lukram James Singh, Marcos Pereira, Rakesh Masih, Isfaq Ahmed (S. Malswamtluanga, +19 ET), Bhaichung Bhutia (P.C. Lalawmpuiya, +9ET), Jose Ramirez Barreto
East Bengal: Subrata Paul, Suley Musah (Alvito D’ Cunha, 55), Nirmal Chetri, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Saumik Dey (Parveen Kumar, +28ET), Sanju Pradhan (Poibiang Poshna, +23ET), Mehtab Hossain, Jayanta Sen, Syed Rahim Nabi, Yusif Yakubu, Sunil Chetri
Referee: A. Arjunan

Source : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1081219/jsp/sports/story_10273479.jsp