Khalid Jamil’s East Bengal were dealt a severe blow to their title hopes as Mohun Bagan won their second Kolkata Derby of the season, defeating their fierce rivals 2-0. Cameroonian striker Asier Dipanda Dicka bagged both the goals for the Mariners.

East Bengal, as Khalid Jamil had announced in his pre-match press conference, started with two strikers in his line-up with the inclusion of Willis Deon Plaza and Dudu Omegbemi in what looked like a 4-3-1-2 formation.

Mohun Bagan, started Akram Moghrabi in attack alongside I-League top scorer Asier Dipanda Dicka, as ex-Bengaluru FC midfielder Cameron Watson also started for Sankarlal Chakraborty looked for a response from his players.

He got exactly that as Bagan took a shock lead in the first minute. East Bengal were caught napping, as Nikhil Kadam swung in a cross from the right and Dicka made no mistake in punishing the Red and Golds.

More bad news followed for EB as Mahmoud Al-Amna was taken off for Bazie Armand in the third minute. It was Bagan, who were in the ascendancy as the Mariners could have had three or four goals in the first half.

As it transpired, Dicka doubled their lead as Raynier Fernandes swung in a free-kick which the Mariners’ striker took on the full with his left and buried it past Luis Xavier Barreto in the EB goal.

East Bengal came out stronger in the second half as Katsumi Yusa tried to inspire his team to a come-back but it was Bagan who turned on the screws as Akram Moghrabi passed it to Cam Watson, whose shot went off target.

Late in the game, Nikhil Kadam was through on goal but couldn’t convert as his low shot could only hit the post. The game ended 2-0 but in reality, it could have been six or seven as Mohun Bagan went up to 16 points from 10 games, while EB remain three points behind leaders Minerva, having played two games more.