The Kolkata derby is an occasion unlike any other in the Indian footballing calendar. On Saturday, October 29, the Indian Super League (ISL) will witness a high-intensity clash between East Bengal and ATK Mohun Bagan for the first time in Kolkata.
The Red and Gold Brigade are coming into the clash on the back of a dominant 3-1 victory over struggling NorthEast United FC. The win will supersede a string of two consecutive losses against Kerala Blasters and FC Goa.
Full-back Sarthak Golui, in a conversation with the East Bengal media team, reiterated the importance of the victory against the Highlanders ahead of the derby.
The former Bengaluru FC defender stated:
"The win against NorthEast is a huge confidence booster ahead of the derby. We are feeling very positive. Hopefully, we can put up a spirited show on Saturday.
"Both East Bengal and ATKMB have won their previous matches. Everyone knows how important this match is in the Indian football milieu. Whoever plays well that day will emerge a winner."
"I’ve done my job" - Sarthak Golui on his performance for East Bengal against NorthEast United FC
Against NorthEast United, Sarthak put in an incredible shift. He made nine clearances, blocked two shots, made one interception and registered three tackles. The right-back was the pick of the defenders for East Bengal and will be hoping to make a similar impact against ATKMB.
Speaking about his performance in the last game, Sarthak opined:
"I’ve done my job. The gaffer entrusted me with a task and I tried my best to execute it against NorthEast United. I’m glad that we won our last match and grabbed three points. We are confident heading into the derby."
This will also be the first time the two Kolkata giants will lock horns in front of fans in the ISL. Asked about the emotion of playing in the derby in front of the fans, the full-back stated:
"It has been heartening to see our fans throng the stadium after two years. We’ll play our first Hero ISL derby in Kolkata on Saturday. Although we couldn’t achieve the expected results in our first two ISL matches, we staged a turnaround against NorthEast United.
"The boys are upbeat before the match. I would request all our fans to keep supporting us. We hope to win in front of our Red and Gold supporters on Saturday!"
The Kolkata derby will take place at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan and will provide East Bengal with an incredible opportunity to record their first-ever derby victory in the ISL.