Football

Mohun Bagan has the last laugh in I-League’s first Kolkata Derby

Breaking through: Beitia is ecstatic after scoring Bagan’s opening goal.

Breaking through: Beitia is ecstatic after scoring Bagan’s opening goal.  

Beitia and Diawara score in the side’s 2-1 win against East Bengal

Mohun Bagan got the better of traditional rival East Bengal 2-1 in the first Kolkata derby of the I-League at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Sunday.

Watched by a capacity crowd of around 63,000, Bagan took a 2-0 lead, scoring once in each half before East Bengal launched a late fightback. However, it proved too little too late. Joseba Beitia and Baba Diawara found the target for Bagan while Marcos Espada netted for East Bengal.

Exciting session

An interesting first period saw Bagan hold the advantage, thanks for showing better coordination in its ranks. Diawara had a good opportunity in the 11th minute, but the Senegalese striker failed to send Beitia curling corner-kick into the net.

It was left to the young Nongdamba Naorem to open the goal route for Bagan six minutes later. The under-22 Bagan midfielder made his way past a couple of East Bengal defenders and set up the unmarked Beitia. The Spanish midfielder just had to nod the ball home into an open net.

Bagan had another chance in the 45th minute, but East Bengal goalkeeper Lalthuammawia Ralte cleared Diawara’s attempt with an acrobatic effort.

Looking for more

Bagan continued to push for more after the break and made it 2-0 in the 65th minute when Beitia’s corner-kick into the East Bengal goalmouth saw Diawara heading home.

With Bagan falling back into a defensive mould after the second strike, East Bengal took the opportunity to launch attacks. Though Espada pulled one back in the 71st minute, East Bengal failed to utilise the numerous chances that came its way in the final quarter.

The result: Mohun Bagan 2 (Joseba Beitia 17, Baba Diawara 65) bt East Bengal 1 (Marcos Espada 71).

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 1:25:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/mohun-bagan-has-the-last-laugh-in-i-leagues-first-kolkata-derby/article30601560.ece

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