6.2.2011, Calcutta: The Super Sunday turned into a Sunday Skirmish as referee Pratap Singh showed nine yellow cards and gave marching orders to two players in an I-League derby between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan at the Salt Lake Stadium, here, on Sunday.
The match ended 1-1, which should make both teams happy. But the frayed tempers left a bad taste in the mouth. There were too many interruptions in the last 20 minutes with players from both sides pushing, shoving and stomping each other resulting in 10 minutes of injury-time.
Uga Okpara and Naoba Singh were yellow-carded from East Bengal, while Gurwinder was out in the 70th minute after getting his second yellow for bringing down Barreto.
Singh should be lauded for doing a good job. It was only because of his tough stance that things didn’t spiral out of control. With around 90,000 spectators cramped at the Salt Lake Stadium, the on-the-field tension could have spilled into the stands. Had that happened, it would have been catastrophic.
Such was the tension on the field that even East Bengal coach Trevor James Morgan, in a fit of rage, crossed the white line and charged at Ashim after the striker fouled Mehtab.
It was very unbecoming of a coach who has earned immense respect in Calcutta for his excellent work with the red and gold brigade.
It was a very good first-half, at least, for Mohun Bagan. Even though Sanju Pradhan put East Bengal ahead with a 10 th-minute penalty, Bagan didn’t lose grip of the game. They were rewarded for the tenacity at the half-hour mark.
Jose Ramirez Barreto restored parity with a brilliant glancing header that did not give rival goalkeeper Sandip Nandy any chance to react. “Only Barreto can score a goal like this,” Bagan technical director Subhas Bhowmick said.
East Bengal’s goal was all about Tolgay Ozebe’s skill and guile. Sensing that Mohanraj was being treated for a gash on his head, he drifted away on the right. His sudden acceleration fooled Anwar Ali and the Australian’s delivery into the penalty box created panic. Sushil Singh jumped for the ball but it somehow missed him. And Surkumar for no reason handled the ball. Singh had no hesitation in awarding penalty and Sanju converted it without much ado.
Minutes after the equaliser, Barreto had a free header after Edeh Chidi got past his marker, Okpara, and floated in a measured cross. But the Brazilian, surprisingly, failed to direct the ball and it went out brushing Naoba Singh’s left foot.
The second-half saw East Bengal coming back very strongly. Mehtab Hossain and Penn Orji started showing more purpose at the centre of the park and Sushanth Mathew was lively on the left. With Tolgay drifting on the left flank and then suddenly switching to the right, the Bagan defence was finding the going tough.
The lateral backs not for once had the courage to overlap, which showed how much control East Bengal had on the proceedings. Despite a player down, the red and gold brigade pushed for a goal. Sushil Singh probably missed the easiest chance of the day when he could not hit the back of the net even when goalkeeper Shilton Paul was hopelessly out of position. In spite of being with the national team for such a long time, Sushil’s rate of conversion is abysmally low. Perhaps, Morgan could have given more enterprising Baljit Singh Sahni a start.
East Bengal: Sandip Nandy; Naoba Singh, Uga Okpara, Gurwinder Singh, Saumik Dey (Syed Rahim Nabi 38), Sanju Pradhan, Penn Orji, Mehtab Hossain, Susanth Mathew (Ravinder Singh 86), Tolgay Ozebey, Sushil Singh (Nirmal Chetri 78).
Mohun Bagan: Shilton Paul: Surkumar Singh, Deepak Mondal, Anwar Ali, N Mohanraj; Subair Murithala Ali (Ashim Biswas 90), Manish Maithani (Jayanta Sen 33), Rakesh Masih, Ishfaq Ahmed (Snehasish Chakraborty 78), Jose Ramirez Barreto, Edeh Chidi.
Referee: Pratap Singh
Here are the match videos :