Mohun Bagan ride on Odafa's Penalty

Mohun Bagan win the Kolkata Derby 1-0

Mohun Bagan 1-0 East Bengal
MB: Odafa Okolie(P 19')

Odafa Okolie, the lone goalscorer
through penalty
After 1997, it was the first time when Kolkata witnessed more than 1 lac (1.2 to be precise) crowd at the fully packed Yuba Bharati Stadium, Salt Lake. As predicted the atmosphere was nothing less than Electric. Both set of crowds were cheering for their respective team, long way before the kick off which was scheduled to take place from 6:30 PM IST. Ten Action had their special coverage stored for one of the most followed derbies in the World. Football pundits Joe Morrison (also known as Joe Footy) along with his fellow partners started the C2K (Countdown to Kick-off) program an hour before the clash of the two Kolkata giants.

One of the top performer for Mohun Bagan
 in today's match

The match kicked off with tremendous roar from the crowd, producing astonishing amount of sound that could be found no where else. Perhaps the chants from the record attendance was too much to handle for the players as few miss passes were seen in the midfield that did not make life easy for the forwards. The supply line for East Bengal was missing as charismatic midfielder Mehtab Hussain was out of the squad because of injury. Their highest scoring player Tolgay Ozbey was also not available for selection due to suspension. Robin Singh and Alan Gow were struggling to get anything. The first real chance came in the 19th minute when Sunil Chhetri made a darting run in the box, only to see himself tackled from behind by Nigerian Defender Uga Okpara. Unfortunately for Okpara, the referee pointed straight for the spot awarding a penalty to Mohun Bagan. Some felt it was not and some felt positively, but nevertheless, it was upto record signing forward Odafa Okolie to step up and he did finished calmly in front of the goal much to the joy of Mohun Bagan fans. Mohun Bagan went 1-0 ahead and the scoreline read the same till the half time. The first half hardly had any real chances in front of the goal and the spark of the derby was not getting reflected on the field.

Came the second half and then came the real intensity and feel of the derby, both teams played attacking football but East Bengal looked the more focused side to take the lead. But, Mohun Bagan managed to wash off the early scare and defended bravely. Syed Rahim Nabi lead the team from the front with few lung bursting runs down the left side while Centre Back Kingshuk Debnath's defense was of top quality which kept the East Bengal forwards at bay. While for East Bengal Alan Gow hardly had a shot on goal, Sanju Pradhan tried his luck with some long rangers which clicked for him many a times in the last few matches, but it was not to be for the speedy winger this time. While Sunil Chhetri was doing all of the running, record signing Odafa's performance was more or less disappointing. There were many opportunities where Odafa was in a great position to make the final pass but unfortunately it never happened as the Nigerian Goal Scoring machine was shooting long rangers and was hitting them high and wide. Nevertheless, Sunil Chhetri had the best chance of the game when he exchanged few passes before sprinting past the East Bengal defence only to find himself in one-on-one with the rival goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, but Sunil's shot went tantalisingly close to the far post.

Then came the 85th minute, when the worst advertisement for Indian Football happened as there occured a complete blackout, which has happened quite for some time in the past. But, this time it would have hurt more than ever as the match was broadcasted over the entire world through telecast partners Ten Action Plus. It left the derby with a bitter taste and for the players, the moment was all but over. The rest of the match did not saw much of a chance as the real feel was already over thanks to some irresponsible officials.

Todays top performers for Mohun Bagan:

Kingshuk Debnath

Kingshuk Debnath was undoubtedly one of the best players on the pitch with some neat tackling. He organised the defence with tremendous composure. A sure material for the National Team. He has been very consistent throughout this season for the Mariners.

Sunil Chhetri
Sunil Chhetri, once again proved why he is still considered the best Indian forwards by a long way. His sudden sprints and quick turns were simply amazing today.

Sangram Mukherjee

Sangram Mukherjee, had one of his best game of the season producing some fine outings and good saves. He denied one clear opportunity as he deflected wide a Robin Singh's goal bound effort.

Daniel Zeleny
Mohun Bagan new recruit Daniel Zeleny had a good game, especially considering that he was given his first cap for Mohun Bagan and that too in such a high voltage derby.
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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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