26.8.2006, Calcutta: It was a match which both the sides would want to forget. East Bengal for missing more than half-a-dozen chances, Mohun Bagan for an atrocious display not witnessed in the recent past.
Thanks to three factors — luck, Bhaichung Bhutia’s ability to score and Sangram Mukherjee’s excellent show under the bar— Mohun Bagan managed to take home three points. Had East Bengal players shown some ability in finding the target, the much talked about 0-5 drubbing of Mohun Bagan been taken to new heights.
The monkey was finally off Bhaichung’s back as he scored his maiden goal for the green-and-maroons against their arch-rivals for a 1-0 win in the Sahara CFL Premier Division match at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday.
Bhaichung’s 40th minute goal gave Mohun Bagan the much-needed lifeline for the remaining league matches. Bhaichung has scored a lot of goals in derby matches, but all of them have come in red-and-gold jersey.
By virtue of this win, Mohun Bagan are on eight points from six matches while their arch-rivals remain atop with 12 points from five outings. Mohammedan Sporting are placed second with 11 points from five matches.
League leaders East Bengal started off with a bang, launching several attacks to leave the opposition defence in complete disarray. The Deepak Mondals and Sanjeev Marias appeared clueless in the first 30 minutes. In between, they had a few chances which were squandered by Ashim Biswas and Fredy Mascarenhas upfront.
Quite early in the eighth minute, Ashim couldn’t connect his header from a Saumik Dey cross from the left. Ashim’s header went over the bar, keeping every East Bengal fan regretting. That was the inauguration of the ‘Missed Chances Exhibition’. Mohun Bagan, by this time, had one chance from a set-piece, which was wasted by Eduardo Coelho. Once in the 26th minute, Ashim headed home from a Syed Rahim Nabi centre, but it was ruled off-side by referee Subrata Sarkar.
The red-and-golds got their easiest chance of the first session in the 27th minute when Mascarenhas successfully dodged past Deepak, but instead of placing the ball to the far post, he shot it over the horizontal keeping the 70000-odds spectators guessing.
Seeing East Bengal playing all over the ground, Mohun Bagan coach Biswajit Bhattacharya brought Dharamjit Singh in place of Dulal Biswas to strengthen the midfield and that worked for the defending champions. Dharamjit, somehow, was successful in curbing East Bengal’s intensity up front.
But the all-important goal came quite against the run of play in the 40th minute. Mehrajuddin Wadao essayed a long through intended for Bhaichung, who was lurking in the zone. He started a bit late to avoid getting into the off-side trap and shot the ball home over diving East Bengal custodian Abhra Mondal.
Mohun Bagan could have been awarded a penalty had the referee decided in favour of them, when a Bhaichung right footer hit Vincent Pires’ right hand three minutes later.
After the breather, it was dull football, the same story of East Bengal creating chances and missing them one after the other. Nabi, who swapped position and started playing as a striker, and Gouranga Dutta (who came in for Dipankar Roy) joined their friends to add colour to the Missed Chances Exhibition.
East Bengal missed several sitters after the lemon break, but the 79th minute blunder by Gouranga Dutta leads the chart. Nabi, after doing all the hard work, crossed the ball for unmarked Gouranga, who just had to touch the ball.
Though misses are to be credited to East Bengal, it is also true that Sangram, who had a point to prove, did it with immaculate precision, bagging the Man-of-the-Match award.
Mohun Bagan: Sangram Mukherjee, Dulal Biswas (Dharamjit Singh 29), Eduardo Coelho, D. Ravanan, Sanjeev Maria, Deepak Mondal (Chinmoy Sarkar 55), Subhas Chakraborty, Guy Ndem Herve, Mehrajuddin Wadao, Bhaichung Bhutia, Dipendu Biswas (Bijoy Basfore 74).
East Bengal: Abhra Mondal, Vincent Pires, Luiz Octavio de Souza, Gurpreet Singh, Soumik Dey, Chandan Das (Snehasish Chakraborty 87), Dipankar Roy (Gouranga Dutta 69), Jayanta Sen, Syed Rahim Nabi, Ashim Biswas, Fredy Mascarenhas (Sasthi Duley 57).
Referee: Subrata Sarkar.
Man-of-the-Match: Sangram Mukherjee.
Here are the match videos :
Source : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1060827/asp/sports/story_6663470.asp