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I-League: Mohun Bagan beat East Bengal 1-0 in Kolkata Derby to extend unbeaten run

Balwant Singh’s goal at the beginning of the second half extended Mohun Bagan's unbeaten run in the I-League

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Mohun Bagan won 1-0 to extend their lead at the top of the I-League table

Balwant Singh’s solitary goal at the beginning of the second half confirmed three vital points for Mohun Bagan against East Bengal in this crucial Kolkata derby match. Mohun Bagan custodian Debjit Majumder was outstanding under the goal post, who denied East Bengal four times.

Both teams started the game with a defensive mindset. They were mostly battling it out in midfield and the quality of the game was extremely low. In the first 20 minutes, none of the teams managed to display positive football. But as the game progressed East Bengal improved. They generated better moves and were dominating the proceedings.

Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, were concentrating on midfield blocking and counter-attacking moves. East Bengal’s looked steady for a change. They marked Sony Norde and Pierre Boya properly. East Bengal got the first positive chance in the 33rd minute when Dudu Omagbemi went past Belo Rasaq and tried to place the ball in the goal but Debjit Majumder came to Mohun Bagan’s rescue and pulled off a fantastic save.

Three minutes later, the Nigerian striker yet again blasted a shot at the goal. Once more the young goalkeeper dived and denied Dudu. East Bengal were suddenly looking dangerous and Mohun Bagan’s defence looked shaky. Around the 40th-minute mark, Debjit yet again pulled off a spectacular save from Lalrindika Ralte’s shot. The first half ended in a stalemate, with Debjit denying East Bengal 3 times in 10 minutes.

Mohun Bagan take the lead after half time

In the very beginning of the second half, Mohun Bagan found the all-important goal from Balwant Singh. Katsumi Yusa ran down the field, dribbled past two defenders and attempted a shot. Subhashish dived and saved the attempt, but Balwant Singh was unmarked in the East Bengal penalty box. He went forward and placed the ball calmly inside the net.

East Bengal were very lacklustre after the goal. They played many passes among themselves, but none resulted in a fruitful move. Dudu Omagbemi had his chances but was wasteful. Ranti Martins was thoroughly marked by the opponent players and failed to perform. In the dying stages, East Bengal had a few chances, but Debjit and the Mohun Bagan defenders stood firm and cleared the chances.

Mohun Bagan picked up three vital points from this derby clash and they continue their dream unbeaten run and remain at the top of the table. East Bengal, on the other hand, are slowly fading away from the title race after today’s loss. They are eight points behind Mohun Bagan and are in sixth place having played nine games.

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