I-League: Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal derby match ends in 1-1 draw
East Bengal struck in the space of six minutes after Mohun Bagan got the lead as the two traditional rivals settled for a 1-1 draw in an otherwise lacklustre I-League derby clash at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan here.
Kolkata: East Bengal struck in the space of six minutes after Mohun Bagan got the lead as the two traditional rivals settled for a 1-1 draw in an otherwise lacklustre I-League derby clash at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan here.
Mohun Bagan drew the first blood in the 24th minute when their marquee recruit Pierre Boya perfectly headed a clinical corner by Katsumi Yusa to put it past Abhijit Mondal under the bar.
A minute earlier, Mondal saved a powerful Boya header from a close angle but this time he was out of reach to thwart the Cameroon striker's attempt.
But the joy was shortlived as East Bengal, who were the hosts of the first leg, brought the match on an even keel and it was Ranty Martins who made amend of his costly miss in the first minute with a brilliant header.
The goal was set up by Mehtab Hossain from a corner as the East Bengal playmaker played a nice ball to Mama who curled it in with Martins timing it perfectly for the equaliser.
The second-half was all about hits and misses but neither team could make a perfect finish as East Bengal would surely regret Nigerian Martin's goof-up against the run of play in the first minute.
Martins got the possession of the ball from Kingshuk Debnath in front of an open net and the rookie Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Debjit Majumder failed to collect it but the Nigerian was off target much to the horror of about 35,000 spectators.
East Bengal also suffered an injury blow when their captain Harmanjyot Khabra sustained injury to his right ankle and had to replaced by Joaquim Abranches in the second-half.
But to the credit of Armando Colaco, who is speculated to be standing in his last match for East Bengal, the Goan maintained a clean slate in derby matches with winning two and drawing two.
East Bengal remained on fourth place at the league table with nine points afer six matches, followed by Mohun Bagan with eight from four outings.
Earlier, Colaco surprised many by benching their reliable central defender Arnab Mondal, while Abijit Mondal replaced Subhasish Roy Chowdhury under the bar.