Mohun Bagan walked into the battle against city rivals East Bengal as the clear underdogs. The captain and talismanic Sony Norde had just declared himself out of this game and for the rest of the season due to the injury, Yuta was still not fit .. the new Lebanese striker Akram had just arrived to the city.. However, that was all prior to the start of the game.
A spirited group of 11 Mariners showed what they could do if they truly wanted to perform. The final scoreline said EB 0-2 MB, but it very well could have been at least 0-5 in favour of Bagan. Bagan started off with a bang, when in the very first minute, the newly arrived forward Akram Moghrabi neatly headed down a dolly for Dicka (who had been under-performing so far and under a lot of criticism) and blasted the EB net with a cannon of a volley into to the top corner. East Bengal continued to press to try and get back to game, but the Bagan half line kept their poise.
In the 35th minute, Dicka scored his second and that could very well be the goal of the season thus far. A cinematic side volley off a Raynier corner that left the EB players and the gallery spell bound.
The 2nd half saw Bagan play an even better game. While East Bengal scampered around a lot, Bagan made delightful counter attacks. Had Nikhil Kadam not missed 3 open nets, had Akram not missed an open header the score line could easily have been far far worse for East Bengal.
Bagan sure did find a renewed spirit, and winning the derby battle with a depleted team is no mean feat. The question remains as to whether they can continue the spirit and work harder to try and get back into the League as title contenders …