Kolkata: Mohun Bagan spoilt East Bengal`s CFL Premier Division triumph party with a 1-0 derby win to end the local league on a high in front of more than a 50,000 strong crowd at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Saturday.
Japanese recruit Katsumi Yusa struck with a left-footer to the far post late in the 83rd minute to hand Mohun Bagan their first win against the bitter foes in two years, after six exchanges.
Mohun Bagan, who last won against East Bengal on January 7, 2012 in another local league exchange, finished with 25 points, three behind their arch-rivals.
Having taken an unassailable lead of 28 points after their 2-0 win over Kalighat MS in the last round, East Bengal had confirmed a record 35th CFL title with a match in hand.
East Bengal had a special guest to their tent this afternoon in Vijay Mallya, chairman of their title sponsors UB Group. But even the UB Group chairman`s visit failed to inspire the team in the all-important grudge match.
It was Mohun Bagan, also sponsored by the UB Group, which impressed in the match with a standout performance by goalkeeper Shilton Paul.
With Edeh Chidi and Ryuji Sueoka lurking in front, Paul saved Mohun Bagan the blushes. Mohun Bagan suffered a setback just after the first-half when ace striker Odafa Okolie pulled out after a hamstring pull.
With the Federation Cup beginning in less than a week`s time, Odafa`s latest injury will prove to be a big blow to their camp.
But Mohun Bagan did not give up as they kept pressing hard with Yusa bringing the green and maroon supporters to their feet with his late strike.