I-League 2018-19: 3 reasons why East Bengal won against Mohun Bagan to make ‘Derby Double’
East Bengal finally achieved the long cherished ‘Derby Double’. They defeated arch rivals Mohun Bagan for the second time in the tournament when they won 2-0 at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Sunday, 27 January.
The last time East Bengal won both the legs against Mohun Bagan was in 2003-04, when the league was known as National Football League. Mohun Bagan have already made the Derby Double last year.
Though East Bengal remained fourth with 25 points from 13 matches, it helped them to close the gaps with Chennai City and Churchill Brothers, who are on 30 and 28 points respectively. Mohun Bagan are on 18 points after 14 matches and they now have no chance to push for the title.
Mohun Bagan got a major blow ahead of the start when midfield maestro Yuta Kinowaki, who was in the initial team list, pulled up his muscle during the pre-match practice. He was replaced by Henry Kisekka.
Mohun Bagan controlled the initial proceedings but East Bengal slowly took the control of the game with their short and deft passes. Jaime Santos opened the scoring in 35th minute after a brilliant pass from Jobby Justin. The Kerala-born scored in the second half to kill the game.
There were a few controversial moments in the game. In the 18th minute, Justin was fouled by Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Shilton Paul inside the box after a miscommunication with Kim Kima. But the referee blew whistle for a goal-kick.
Early in the second half, Johnny Acosta made a good tackle on Dipanda Dicka. Watching the Cameroonian exaggerating on the field, Santos pushed him from the back, what looked like a clear red card and penalty. Mohun Bagan also had a goal disallowed in the second half for off-side.
Mohun Bagan’s physiotherapist Samiran Nag was sent off by the referee later in the second half for showing dissent in the touchline.
Let us look the reasons behind East Bengal’s win.
#3 Brilliant passing football produced by Red and Golds
East Bengal opted for closed training sessions in the past three days. It was unknown what transpired inside it, but the players delivered an astonishing performance on the pitch.
The red and golds tried to control the game from the very first minute. They were concentrated on more ball possession and making shorts passes to create an attack. The players have already adapted with the style and it was visible on the pitch.
With acute passes, East Bengal took control of the midfield in no time. Laldanmawia Ralte and Antonio Dovale were operating from both the flanks. Kassim Aidara was solid in blocking the initial attacks.
Santos played in the middle and that move has helped in scoring the first goal.