Sunday, 6 October 2013

East Bengal 1-1(5-2) Mohun Bagan : IFA Shield Final 2000

16 Sept 2000, Calcutta: Amar Ganguly has had to live in the shadows of Mohun Bagan’s star strikers this season. Today, he squandered his chance for a place in the sun.
Banished to the bench on most occasions, Ganguly, a second-half substitute at today’s IFA Shield final, was tantalisingly close to what would have been the the ‘golden goal’ when he faltered. As he sat clutching his head in disbelief, the scene somehow summed up Mohun Bagan’s story at the Salt Lake Stadium.
A story of missed opportunities.
East Bengal escaped to victory, winning the tie-breaker hands down to complete a ‘triple crown’ of local titles after triumphs in the McDowell Cup and Super Division League.
In a fascinating match of fluctuating fortunes, it was East Bengal who drew first blood, Chandan Das finding the mark from a 26th-minute breakaway. Jose Barreto brought parity for the green-and maroon brigade with a classy strike 38 minutes into the second session.
And then, after more misses, the game spilled into the penalty shootout that went all wrong for Mohun Bagan — from the first kick.
The result will be a real heartbreak for Mohun Bagan, for they have rarely dominated their arch-rivals in the manner they did today. They will, of course, have been rudely reminded that, in the end, it’s not just about creating opportunities but scoring from them.
The midfield was always going to be the key area, and Mohun bagan took control from the onset. However, even as they pressed forward, East Bengal always seemed to catch them on the wrong foot with quick breakways. One of these produced the first goal, though Amitava Chanda could take a great deal of blame for some clumsy defending.
When the ball ran loose towards Chanda and Suley Musah in a 50-50 situation, the Mohun Bagan left-back, the last defender on this occasion, made the cardinal mistake of going for an all out tackle. Once he failed, Musah was left with all the space he needed.His cross found Chandan, whose prompt shot at goal went in off the left post. Bagan turned the heat on from there, but were thwarted time and again by goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee.
The 20-year-old TFA blue had a dream day, rising every time his team faced danger. It looked as if nothing could beat the boy from Kanchrapara, till the brilliance of Barreto bailed Mohun Bagan out yet again.
The crafty Brazilian, who found very little support upfront, showed his class when R.C. Prakash sent in a cross. Barreto shut out Sur Kumar Singh with his body even as he sent his side-volley past the hapless goalkeeper.
Sur Kumar, after getting into a few elbow-pushing bouts with the Brazilian, had to leave the pitch six minutes before the end after his second booking of the day.
Barreto did little wrong, though he did mess up a chance to get the ‘golden goal’. Prakash was to find the crosspiece minutes later.
East Bengal too got their chances, most of them from breakaways down right, but they may well want to dedicate this victory to their spirit. The ability to hang on, and deliver the knockout punch.
East Bengal opens with Chandan Das sending the goalkeeper the wrong way on the left. (1-0)
Sammy Omollo’s push along the carpet to the goalkeeper’s left is saved by the diving Sangram. (1-0)
Musah beats a diving Sandip on his right. (2-0)
Dulal Biswas tries to blast his shot in but it comes to grief on the crosspiece. Mohun Bagan is now in real trouble. (2-0)
Ratan Singh, the ‘left-footer’, fools Sandip with a right-footer that goes past the goalie’s right. (3-0)
Satyajit Chatterjee, the ‘pro’ shows his mates how it’s done by coolly slotting to the left of Sangram. (3-1)
Sandip needs to save this one to keep Mohun Bagan afloat, but Dipendu gives him no chance with a nice placement. (4-1)
EAST BENGAL: Sangram Mukherjee; Sur Kumar Singh, Dipak Mondal, Jackson Egygpong, Ratan Singh; Suley Musah, Carlton Chapman (Tushar Rakshit 51st, Ranjan Dey 103rd), Chandan Das, Dipankar Roy (Anit Ghosh 88th); Dipendu Biswas, Bijen Singh.
MOHUN BAGAN: Sandip Nandy; Dulal Biswas, Sammy Omollo, M. Suresh (Joao Santos 36th, Amar Ganguly 82nd), Amitava Chanda; Debjit Ghosh; Basudeb Mondal, R.P. Singh (Hussain Mustafi 71st), Satyajit Chatterjee; Jose Ramirez Barreto, R.C. Prakash.
Referee: S. M. Balu (Karnataka)

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