Mohun Bagan, East Bengal derby ends in goalless draw
Defending champions Mohun Bagan dished out a dominant display but were held to a goalless draw by East Bengal in the high-voltage Kolkata derby
The first derby of the season between arch rivals Mohun Bagan and East Bengal ended in a goalless draw in Calcutta Football League Premier Division A on Sunday at the Salt Lake Stadium.
Don’t go by the scoreline, the game had everything: from skills to end-to-end action. It was a game of shifting momentum: defending champions Mohun Bagan dominated the first half of the game and looked more in control of the game. East Bengal, on the other hand, continued to add pressure in the next 45 minutes and were excellent while defending.
Mohun Bagan, undoubtedly, were the superior team with Joseba Beitia brilliantly leading the attack in a 4-4-1-1 formation but V P Suhair let the team down missing a couple of sitters.
In fact, both the teams squandered easy chances just five minutes before the half-time whistle. First Marcos followed a through ball from Pintu inside the box but his poor first touch allowed Debjit Majumder to come out of his line and collect the ball.
Mehtab Singh and Marti Crespi were caught napping on the counter attack and Suhair found himself one-on-one with Lalthuammawia Ralte. But he couldn’t find the back of the net.
He missed another easy pie in the 60th minute as he failed to tap the curling ball low cross inside the box from Ashutosh Mehta. The ball ultimately went wide, and quite fittingly, so did his team’s chances.
Save for a final chance in the dying moments of the game.
Alexander Romario could have killed the game in the 91st minute after he received a curling cross from Beitia but he failed to find the back of the net.
Kolkata derby finishes 0-0. Great to watch. Very feisty. It sounded like a fantastic atmosphere. Mohun Bagan were the better side (you could see a change from last season) and, on the whole, came closer to scoring.— Akarsh Sharma (@Akarsh_Official) September 1, 2019
Can't wait to travel for the I-League derby. ???? pic.twitter.com/IfAPR7YqAh
East Bengal midfield looked unorganised especially in the first-half but their defence manned by Marti Crespi did not give any chance to their arch-rivals to come out with a point.
It was an end-to-end action in the second half with East Bengal pressing the attack but a goal eluded them as well.
With 20 minutes left on the clock, East Bengal coach Alejandro Menendez brought on his key players, Jaime Santos and Bidyasagar Singh, but they too failed to make any impact.
Nonetheless, East Bengal now have seven points from four matches to occupy fourth place in the table.
The defending champions, on the other hand, are languishing in the relegation zone at ninth spot with five points from four outings in the 12-team standings.
The last season's derby saw both teams play out a 2-2 draw while East Bengal won both their legs against their arch-rivals in the I-League.
East Bengal: Laldanmawia, Kamalpreet Singh, Marti Crespi, Mehtab Singh, Abhishek, Kassim Aidara, Pintu Mahata, Lalrindika Ralte (c), Brandon, Ronaldo Oliviera, Marcos Jimenez de la Espada
Mohun Bagan: Debjit Majumdar, Fran Morante, Gurjinder Kumar (c), Chullova, Nongdamba Naorem, Ashutosh Mehta, Surabbudin Mallick, Joseba Beitia, VP Suhair, Francisco Javier Gonzalez, Sk. Sahil