Mohun Bagan blank complacent East Bengal 2-0
Kolkata: An impressive Mohun Bagan caught East Bengal napping as the holders were handed a 2-0 defeat in the Calcutta Football League Premier Division on Saturday, their second loss in the season`s second derby.
East Bengal had lost 0-1 to Mohun Bagan in September last year in an I-League match.
After a dull start by both the teams, Odafa Okolie handed Bagan the lead when in the 22nd minute a sloppy work by Bengal goalkeeper Sandip Nandy cost his side dear.
A product of the Mohun Bagan Academy, under-19 player Manish Bhargav impressed in the big match as his brilliant header just seven minutes later handed his side a 2-0 cushion.
The red-and-gold brigade who are almost certain to retain the title after an all-win record from six matches thus tasted their first defeat in the local league this season.
With Uzbek World Cupper referee Ravshan Irmatov officiating the match, the high-voltage clash, however, was incident-free in a clear aberration to the past.
Playing in front of a 40,000-plus crowd at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in the season`s second derby, it was a complacent display by East Bengal.
The holders conceded an easy goal with a poor display by Nandy who let the ball slip in between his hands from an Odafa left-footer.
Before they could wake up from the slumber, a young and spirited Bhargav showed a lot of promise as his header from a Hudson Lima freekick handed the 2-0 lead.
Down 0-2 in first 30 minutes, it was very difficult for East Bengal to come back in the match as Mohun Bagan completely dominated the proceedings.
In fact, East Bengal should be thanking their fortunes for having spared of a 4-0 humiliation as Mohun Bagan missed two sitters in the early second-half one of them being a freekick from the edge of the box.
Mehtab Hussain looked off-colour in his usual position as was Tolgay Ozbey up front lacked sting.
Barring one chance in the 54th minute which was missed by Saumik Dey, East Bengal never really had an opportunity.
With 14 points from seven matches, Bagan narrowed the point-difference to four points against their bitter-foes.
For East Bengal, the wait for the title will continue with three more matches to go.