East Bengal overcame traditional rival Mohun Bagan 3-2 in the final outing to claim the 34th Calcutta Football League title at the Salt Lake Stadium on Thursday. The win also ensured that East Bengal accomplished a hat-trick of titles, winning it successively in 2010-11 seasons.
East Bengal dominated Mohun Bagan to bring to a successful end its premier division super-nine campaign with an all-win record. East Bengal tallied 24 points from eight matches while Mohun Bagan took the runner-up position with 19 points.
Needing a draw to ensure the title, East Bengal went ahead in the 23rd minute when Nigerian Edeh Chidi scored on the rebound after his first attempt, on an Orji Penn throw, was blocked by the Bagan goalkeeper Shilton Paul. East Bengal doubled the lead when Chidi combined with midfielder Kevin Lobo to release Penn inside the box. The unmarked Nigerian midfielder made no mistake.
Nigerian striker Okolie Odafa brought Bagan back into the game in the 39th minute when he scored from a free-kick. Bagan’s hopes of finding a equaliser after the break was denied by Chidi, who made it 3-1 in the 72nd minute.
Just when East Bengal look all set to celebrate another successful season in the battle for local supremacy, Bagan narrowed the margin off Australian striker Tolgay Ozbey, who made the made the most of a lax vigil by the defence in the injury time.
The result: East Bengal 3 (Edeh Chidi 23rd minute, 72, Orji Penn 29) bt Mohun Bagan 2 (Okolie Odafa 39, Tolgay Ozbey 90+2).