REDEMPTION!!! 34 years of waiting comes to an end. 3 generations waited for this day. Finally it has come. After 34 years – Mohun Bagan has finally netted 5 (yes FIVE) goal in East Bengal’s net. When Chiddi left saturday’s practice, he promised to the supporters that he will score. But 4 goals ? FOUR ? Yes, the man of the match in sunday’s derby scored four goals alone. Young Manish scored the 5th for Mohun Bagan. One can be sure that Swapan Sadhan Basu and all mohun Bagan supporters in the whole world will emphasize the strength of the very name MOHUN BAGAN today.
Head Coach Karim Bencharifa will emphasise the strength of character and irrepressible attacking force that saw his team Mohun Bagan score five goals in a stunning 16-minute first-half and 20 mins second-half spell to destroy East Bengal team that were 1-0 ahead and cruising at the interval. Edeh Chiddi alone scored 4 goals, while Manish Maithani scored another for the team. Mohun Bagan looked beyond redemption as Chiddi and Manish struck for 5 times – and the supporters travelled back to 1975. Team Mohun Bagan and Head Coach must have believed their track record of last year’s iLeague.
The coach showed that he really had a Plan B up his sleeves and really delivered a telling blow, which left the opponents stunned. After conceding the lead early in the game Bagan exploded in a spell of 20 minutes and the score sheet changed to 1-3. Thereafter the opposition made a deft change and they were back in the game thanks to some daft goalkeeping by Shilton Paul. At the break the score stood at 3-3. It was the most nervous lemon break we have had in a long long time. The second half saw a transformed Bagan, the boys were running riot up and down the field. All departments did a splendid job and the result stood at 5-3 at 90 minutes. The opposition was left stunned and stupefied, it was one payback that they didn’t see coming. The coach should be given complete credit for the way the team turned around in the second half. However, the only bitter taste in the mouth was left by the custodian Shilton, whose temperament and the coach’s wisdom in fielding him has to be really questioned.
Mohun Bagan made a huge statement of their iLeague title intentions on Sunday when they beat East Bengal 5-3 at Yuva Bharati Krirangan to cut the gap on leaders Chirag United. Edeh Chiddi and Manish Maithani scored the goals as last year’s Runner up Mohun Bagan moved up, in the table. East Bengal needed to chase the game in the second half but mohun Bagan always looked the more likely to score again and Chiddi, who was superb throughout, made it five for Bagan and his fourth as he scored in 17th, 33rd, 46th and 66th minutes with Manish scoring in the 22nd minute. Chiddi’s two goals in the second half was the end of East Bengal’s resistance and Mohun Bagan rounded off a successful evening.
But it was not Mohun Bagan in the beginning. Both the teams started well with a few early chances. Then Nirmal Chettry scored for East Bengal in the 9th minute It was a replay of a Rahim Nabi 2nd goal in the last derby. Chettry was unmarked – and he scored with ease. The goal changed the body language of Bagan players. It started with one of the team’s best recruits of the season – Surkumar Singh. He snatches the ball from an East Bengal player in the midfield -dribbles Gobin well – gets near the side bar and a measured chip finds Chiddi. Chiddi was waiting for the ball to come and his shot made it 1-1. It was his 150th iLeague match. Jose Barreto wanted to make it memorable. Inthe 22nd minute his brilliant move from the right flank found Snehasish. Snehasish’s thrugh for Chiddi was equally brilliant. Nabi tried to clear the ball – but it went to Manish and a 25 yards power shot made it 2-1. Barreto and Chidd started changing positions – and East Bengal defenders soon ran out of ideas. In the 33rd minute Barreto moved from left and his cross for Chiddi made it 3-1.
After the third goal, East Bengal defenders and midfielders were found shivering – but then two mistakes from Shilton Pal made it 3-3. First a misunderstanding between Shilton and Masih found the ball cross the goal line. This horrible show was not enough – in the 44th minute Shilton and the defense again goofed up allowing East Bengal to score their third. Both goals were actually gifted by Bagan’s defenders and Shilton. Karim replaced Shilton with Sangram in the 2nd half. Sangram and Surkumar started guiding Masih and Mandi. Mohanraj also started taking extra load. But that happened much later. Chiddi scored in the 46th minute. Snehasish got past Mehraj – got control of the ball – crossed it to James, who passed it to Chiddi. Chiddi had his first hat-trick of the season. In the 53rd minute Mohanraj was booked. In the 57th minute Barreto was tackled nastily by Gobin – and he was not in a position to continue any more. He was replaced with Ishfaq. Barreto was found weeping as he left the ground. In the 66th Minute Chiddi scored the 5th goal for Bagan. The supporters roared in the stadium. It was another round of Diwali celebration all over Bengal. Then Marcos went down to stopper position, and led the team from there. In the 92nd minute Snehasish was replaced by Tomba, a minute after that, 60,000 people were found dancing in the stands, as if there’s no tomorrow.
Mohun Bagan :Shilton(Sangram), Mohanraj, Masih, Sagram ,Surkumar, Snehashis(Tomba),Manish,Marcos, James, Chiddi, Bareto (Isfaq)
East Bengal :Abhra, Nirmal, Mehraj, Govin, Nabi, Mitrovic (Alvito),Mehtab, Riston (Harmonjyot),Renedy (Subhas), Yakubu, Hammond
Picture Cortesy: Sangbad Pratidin, Aajkaal