I-League 2018-19: Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal- 5 Indian players to watch out in the Kolkata Derby
Perennial arch-rivals in Kolkata football, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, will cross swords against each other one more time on Sunday, 27th January in what will be the second I-League Kolkata derby of the 2018-19 season. In their previous meeting, East Bengal overwhelmed Mohun Bagan 3-2 in front of 64,867 fans. The Green and Maroons will be eyeing for nothing less than three points to satiate themselves.
A lot of fans and pundits underestimate the importance of Indian players in the Kolkata Derby. One ought to remember that it was Bhaichung Bhutia, an Indian, who scored the hat-trick in East Bengal's 4-1 win in the 1997 Federation Cup semi-finals in front of 131,781 fans.
The foreigners are usually the cynosure of the eye, dazzling everyone with their impeccable skills. However, the Indian players have proved time and again that they are no less than their foreign counterparts. This Kolkata Derby, watch out for these five Indian players whose performance will make or break their team's plans.
#5 Laldanmawia Ralte (East Bengal)
Laldanmawia Ralte completed the move to East Bengal alongside numerous Aizawl FC imports when Khalid Jamil took charge of the club. This Sunday, his mentor and coach will be on the opposite corner and the 26-year-old would like to show him what he learnt from him.
Laldanmawia Ralte has already scored four goals in the season for East Bengal, the second highest among the Indians. If not marked properly, the right winger could be a nuisance for Mohun Bagan.
The Green and Maroons' center-backs aren't the quickest in the league. Already having a telepathic understanding with Lalrindika Ralte and Joby Justin, his pace and ability to cut through the left back and the left center-back from the blindside is something that will captivate the fans.