The Green-and-Maroon brigade will be singing long into the night as Mohun Bagan edged East Bengal 2-1 at the Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri on Sunday night to go second in the table.
Although the first derby of the season ended 0-0 and was a cagey affair, this match with the league title hanging in the balance had much more riding on it as both teams were chasing Aizawl in the standings.
Sony Norde, often accused of not being upto the mark in derbies, provided a moment of magic as his free-kick went flying into the top corner, giving Rehenesh in the East Bengal goal no chance sending Bagan fans into raptures.
Azharuddin Mallick, Bagan’s Under-22 player doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time. With Rehenesh caught off his line, the winger scored a fantastic goal, placing the ball in the top corner of the net to leave the Lol Holud stunned.
Any hopes of an East Bengal comeback were dashed after the break as Willis Deon Plaza punched Anas Edathodika in an off-the-ball incident and was shown a straight red after the referee Rowan Arumugam consulted with his linesman.
Rowllin Borges did pull one back for East Bengal in the dying minutes as the man from Goa lashed in a left-footed volley past Debjit Majumder but it wasn’t enough as Bagan overcame their rivals, in the process leapfrogging them into second spot.
With this win, Bagan have 29 points from 14 games, two ahead of their city rivals who have played a game more.
Jugovic gives Aizawl the Blues
Aizawl FC took to the field against Bengaluru FC, hoping to get a draw and possibly a win against Albert Roca’s men. The game started at a brisk pace with the men from Mizoram attacking BFC down their flanks.
It heated up just before half-time as Khalid Jamil and Sunil Chhetri got into a scrap on the touchline and had to be separated as tempers flared up at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium. Jayesh Rane would also hit the post for the visitors with Amrinder nowhere close to the ball.
But it would be the home team who had the final laugh as substitute Marjan Jugovic’s header flew past Albino Gomes to break Mizo hearts. With this loss, Aizawl remain on top of the league, but only one point ahead of Bagan who have a game in hand on Khalid’s men.
- Mohun Bagan 2 (Sony Norde, Azharuddin Mallick) beat East Bengal 1 (Rowllin Borges)
- Bengaluru FC 1 (Marjan Jugovic) beat Aizawl FC 0