East Bengal slumped to their first loss of the 2017 I-League season after Mohun Bagan defender Kingsley scored a first-half goal from a set-piece.
However, the contentious moment of the game occurred when East Bengal striker Willis Plaza was supposedly brought down by Bagan defender Kinshuk Debnath inside the penalty area. While some of the East Bengal players appealed for a foul, referee Ramaswamy Srikrishna Coimbatore waved them to play on.
The incident took place in the 73rd minute, when East Bengal put on a magnificent display, playing 13 consecutive passes, with Plaza eventually being set through on goal. Just as the Trinidadian striker was about to pull the trigger, Bagan defender Kinshuk Debnath slid in ferociously, supposedly to get a foot on the ball.
However, Debnath could not get a single touch on the ball, as Plaza went tumbling over, near the penalty spot. To the Trinidadian’s dismay, the referee paid no heed to the tackle by Debnath, as Bagan keeper Shilton Paul calmly collected the ball, and put it back into play, to launch the counter-attack.
The season may just be two matches old, but with Bengaluru FC out of the picture, both the Kolkata giants are set to be the favourites to win the league, especially with Bengaluru FC out of the picture. For now, though the Mariners have stolen the march over their arch-rivals, as they move on to four points from their two games. Its back to the drawing board for East Bengal, though, as they now look to bounce back from this defeat.