The traditional giants of Indian and Kolkata Football, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal began their IFA Shield Campaign in sublime fashion with big wins over Churchill Brothers and SAIL Academy Burnpur respectively. Sportskeeda looks at both the games in brief :
Match 1: Mohun Bagan 7-1 Churchill Brothers
The 2017 Runners Up side romped up a 7-1 win over I-League side Churchill Brothers in the first game of the day at the Barasat Stadium in the Suburbs of Kolkata.
The Mariners got off to a flying start as they opened the scoring as early as in 5th minute through Saurav Das. Koushik Santra made it 2-0 for the Mariners from the spot in the 14th minute after winger Subha Ghosh was brought in the box.
Churchill Brothers pulled one back a few moments later through Hussain Pinjar.
Koushik Sarkar found himself at the end of a defence-splitting pass and calmly placed it beyond the reach of the opposition goalkeeper to make it 3-1. Subha and Saurav scored again before the break to make it 5-1 at halftime.
Subha Ghosh scored twice in a relatively cagey second half to make it 7-1 at the end of the game.
Mohun Bagan will now face Bengal Football Academy on 9th July at the same venue, while Churchill Brothers will cross swords with Tata Football Academy on 10th July in Barasat as well.
Match 2: East Bengal 6-1 SAIL Burnpur
East Bengal, led by Lachhanhima rallied to a gigantic win over SAIL Burnpur, who made a last moment entry into the tournament, today at the East Bengal Ground.
The game began on a cagey note with both sides trying to settle in with possession play among themselves.
The first goal-mouth action came in the 15th Minute when SAIL winger Souvik Ghosal went past two East Bengal defenders and shot wide of the target.
It was East Bengal who drew first blood in the 41st minute through Suranjit Singh who tapped it home from a brilliant pass from the wings.
SAIL's Avijit Pradhan equalized after few minutes with quick individual skills to restore parity. East Bengal hit back instantly through Lalchhanhima to go into the break with a slender 2-1 lead.
The floodgates opened in the second half as Lalchhanhima rounded off the opposition goalkeeper and slotted the ball into the back of an empty net in the 67th minute. Lalchhanhima, also known as Tetepuia completed his hat-trick with a venomous volley in the 73rd minute.
Substitutes Silvana and Lalruaitluanga got a goal themselves, in the end, to round off the day with a 6-1 win.
East Bengal would now host ATK in the East Bengal Ground on 8th of July while SAIL Burnpur will cross swords with Mohammedan SC on the same day in Barasat.
Which one of the Kolkata giants will go all the way in the IFA Shield 2018? Sound off your opinions in the comments section below!