Sunday, 16 June 2013

Mohun Bagan 2-0 East Bengal : Calcutta Football League 2nd Leg 2007-08

6.11.2007, Calcutta: Mohun Bagan virtually laid their hands on the Sahara CFL Premier Division trophy, beating arch-rivals East Bengal in the second leg too, at the Salt Lake Stadium on Tuesday.
Jose Ramirez Barreto gave the green-and-maroon fans a Diwali gift in advance, scoring both goals in the 2-0 win. With two matches to go, Mohun Bagan, with 30 points, have opened up a five-point lead over Subrata Bhattacharya’s side. The title is now only theirs to lose since they also have a better goal difference and all Barreto’s team needs is a point from their next two matches.
The second-leg derby might not have been as dramatic as the 4-3 thriller at the same venue on August 17, but it had all the ingredients that make an East Bengal-Mohun Bagan encounter so special. There were East Bengal’s ferocious attacks in the first-half, Mohun Bagan midfield’s transformation from the struggling to the scintillating with the passage of time and concomitant to these were some individual sparks.
Two incidents on either side of the break eventually stood out as the key moments of the match. The first took place in the 37th minute, when both Barreto and Surkumar Singh went up for an aerial challenge. The East Bengal defender fell and went out of the ground with a head injury, leaving the backline exposed to the lethal stings of Barreto and Bhaichung Bhutia.
Then five minutes after the breather, Barreto cast his spell on the match. Alvito D’Cunha — who didn’t shine as bright as he had promised to do on the match-eve — gave away the ball to Dharamjit Singh around the central park. The Bagan midfielder promptly sent it in the direction of an onrushing Barreto. From there started the Brazilian’s magical journey. He sprinted like a panther, sensing he’s well within his target. On approaching the rival box, he met M. Suresh in his way but easily took the challenger in his stride. Then he waltzed with the ball over a few yards further, before unleashing a lethal left-footer which beat Subrata Paul all ends up. Spotless and dazzling.
As East Bengal upped their ante in search of an equaliser, their fort was also in danger of being under siege from quick counter-attacks. That’s exactly what happened in the closing minutes of the match, when Bhaichung had a free run following a Habibur Rahman through. Only a Paul lunge could stop him, forcing referee M. Suresh to point to the spot-kick. Barreto was, once again, spotless in converting the penalty, sending East Bengal fans into the darkness of despair three days before the festival of light.
The summit meeting had flickered into life right from the word go. Within the first four minutes, Edmilson and Ashim Biswas wasted a couple of chances as the red-and-golds made their intention clear, leaving Mohun Bagan on the backfoot and gasping. But first Surkumar’s departure and next his replacement Soumik Dey’s injury, seriously affected the midfield’s industry, forcing Bhattacharya to make two side-halves fall back to attend to the backline needs.
Mohun Bagan coach Carlos Roberto Pereira, on the other hand, reshuffled his middle-third after the half time, putting Douglas da Silva as a defensive screen against the ambitious East Bengal side. The move paid off, with N.S. Manju beating Edmilson in the air time and again and Douglas keeping a close tab on Ashim and Alvito in and around the half-line.
And when their protection in the Mohun Bagan defence was breached, Shilton Paul was exceptional under the bar. The way he flung himself acrobatically to save Edmilson’s shot from close would surely have made England’s former World Cup goalkeeper (after whom the 20-year-old was named) proud.
Jose Ramirez Barreto described his two goals against East Bengal as a Diwali gift for his teammates and fans, warning though that they had “still some unfinished job” in claiming the CFL Premier Division title.
“Yes, it’s a gift not only for my fans, but also for my players without whose support we could not have beaten East Bengal twice in the league,” the Brazilian said after the match on Tuesday. “But we have still two matches to play (against Peerless on November 12 and Mohammedan Sporting on November 16), so I don’t want to celebrate the occasion right now.”
Barreto, leading the goalscorers’ list with 14 goals, also refused to dub his performance an answer to his critics, who had earlier doubted about his agility and effectiveness.
“Let people talk about me and I will keep answering them with my feet,” he said.
His captain Bhaichung Bhutia, however, warned the rivals of his combination with Barreto. “When we had played together in 2002 it didn’t click, but I believe it will be a different story this season,” he said.
Talking about the team’s struggling first half, Bhaichung pointed out that the strategy was not to concede a goal “as we knew East Bengal would come back hard at us because their urgency (for a win) was more than us.”
East Bengal coach Subrata Bhattacharya tried to put up a brave face, picking Surkumar Singh’s injury as the turning point. “It’s nothing but a bad day in office. Surkumar’s injury was crucial since I had to reshuffle my defence and middle-third. I wanted to win the match very much, but at the end of the day, you can’t get everything you wish for,” he said.
The second-leg CFL Premier Division derby, true to its status, turned out to be a crowd-puller at the Salt Lake Stadium on Tuesday.
According to an IFA official, the attendance swelled to “around 85,000”, much to the surprise of the organisers.
“We expected a 50,000-odd crowd in the match, judging by the sale of tickets till Monday. But demands for tickets peaked in the morning today in the light of importance of the match,” he said.
Since neither the stadium authority nor the IFA keeps official record, exact attendance is not possible to know.
The first-leg derby also saw attendance of similar magnitude in which Mohun Bagan beat East Bengal 4-3.
The league started with chock-a-block stands in the Big Three grounds till it went for the Puja break.
On resumption, it failed to generate same level of interest among the fans.
After ensuring the 2-0 win, Mohun Bagan ’keeper Shilton Paul (who effected a number of spectacular saves in the match) was carried on the fans’ shoulders towards the dressing room.
“I want to dedicate this win to (Mohun Bagan’s goalkeeper’s coach) Hemanta Dora. It’s also my answer to a former ’keeper who has been criticising me,” Shilton said, without naming his critic.
Mohun Bagan: Shilton Paul; Habibur Rahman, Sanjeev Maria, N.S. Manju, Subhashish Roy Chowdhury; Douglas da Silva, James Singh (Anit Ghosh, 90), Dharamjit Singh, S. Venkatesh (Lalkamal Bhowmick, 65); Jose Ramirez Barreto, Bhaichung Bhutia.
East Bengal: Subrata Paul; Surkumar Singh (Soumik Dey, 37, Dipankar Roy 70), M. Bolaji, M. Suresh, Debabrata Roy; Syed Rahim Nabi, Jayanta Sen, Mehrajuddin Wadao, Alvito D’Cunha (Dipendu Biswas, 79); Edmilson, Ashim Biswas.
Referee: M. Suresh.

Here are the match videos :

Source :

No comments:

Post a Comment