Full Time: East Bengal 2-2 Mohun Bagan
Scorers: Pintu Mahata (19'), Henry Kisekka (29') for Mohun Bagan and Jhonny Acosta (45+2'), Laldanmawia Ralte (61') for East Bengal
MOM: Pintu Mahata
Perennial Kolkata giants East Bengal took their arch-rivals Mohun Bagan on in the first 'Kolkata Derby' of 2018 season, in their eighth match of the Calcutta Football League (CFL) Premier Division ‘A’ 2018 at the historic Salt Lake Stadium on September 2, Sunday in which East Bengal and Mohun Bagan played out a 2-2 draw.
The Maroon and Greens got their early two-goal lead as Pintu Mahata (19') and Henry Kisekka (29') scored for their squad. But the breakthrough for East Bengal came just three minutes before the half-time whistle when Johnny Acosta (45+2') scored for his team and Laldanmawia Ralte (61') levelled the scoreline for the Red and Golds.
From the very beginning, Mohun Bagan started playing a dominating football. In the sixth minute of the match, Mohun Bagan got an early opportunity to break the deadlock. Dipanda Dicka was harshly challenged by Mehtab Singh and as a result, Mohun Bagan earned a free-kick. East Bengal goalie, Rakshit Dagar deflected the shot out of Henry Kisekka and kept the scoreline 0-0.
The Mariners made the scoreline 1-0 in the 19th minute of the game when Pintu Mahata slotted the ball home from Arijit Bagui's cross. Pintu was left unmarked by the East Bengal defenders in the penalty box and Pintu didn't fail to score his first ever goal in the Kolkata Derby.
Sankarlal's men doubled their lead making the scoreline 2-0, in the 29th minute of the match. Arijit Bagui again played the vital role as he crossed for Henry Kisekka who found the back of the net from inside the penalty box. Once again it was the fault of the East Bengal defenders as the Mohun Bagan players were left unmarked inside the box.
While trailing by a margin of 0-2, Jhonny Acosta relieved the Red and Gold fans as he netted one home, at the end of the first half. Mehtab passed the cross made by Lalrindika Ralte towards Acosta and he went for a header. Mohun Bagan goalie Shilton Paul lost his control over the ball and while clearing the ball, Kim Kima's shot got deflected by Acosta and went inside the net promptly.
After getting dominated by their arch-rivals in the first half, The Red and Gold brigade started to dominate in the second half as they became hungry for an equaliser. Bastob Roy's men were looking miserable as there was no rhythm, no understanding between themselves at all. But in the second half, they came back stronger.
Bagan thinktank, Sankarlal Chakraborty brought Mehtab Hossain on to the field, possibly in the last Kolkata Derby of his career, replacing him with Shilton D'Silva in the 53rd minute of the match. Unfortunately, Mehtab had to leave the ground as he got injured within a couple of minutes after his arrival. Mehtab got injured while blocking Mahmoud Al Amnah, as he tried to back-pass the ball to the Mohun Bagan goalie Shilton Paul and landed oddly. Amnah was too close to get an equaliser but Shilton made a perfect outing to block him and managed to keep the scoreline unchanged.
East Bengal finally got their equaliser in the 61st minute of the game as the Ralte-duo managed to open the goalmouth. Shilton somehow managed to save Lalrindika Ralte's curling corner but failed to deflect Laldanmawia Ralte's shot.
The scoreline of 2017 season's Kolkata Derby got repeated in this season of Calcutta Football League too. Mohun Bagan remained undefeated in their consecutive 7th Derby. After today's game, both the teams have earned 20 points from eight matches. The Mariners are currently at the top of the league table, followed by their arch-rivals, the Red and Golds. Both the teams also share an equal goal difference.