CFL 2019, As it happened: Bagan, East Bengal derby ends in goalless draw

An entertaining Kolkata derby between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in the Calcutta Football League ended in a goalless draw.

Much to the joy of its fans, East Bengal scored a goal each in either half to register a win in its second outing.

East Bengal fans light up flares during a Calcutta Football League match.   -  Twitter

Good afternoon! Hello and welcome to the live blog of the 2019 Calcutta Football League fixture between Mohun Bagan and Quess East Bengal. This is Aashin Prasad and I will bring you the action as it unfurls from the Salt Lake Stadium.

 

LIVE UPDATES:

MATCH REPORT

The flares break out in the stands. East Bengal is fourth on the points table with seven points and Mohun Bagan is eighth in the standings with five points.

That's the last meaningful action of the match as the referee blows for the final whistle. The match ends in a goalless draw but it's an entertaining stalemate nonethless.

92' + 3' Beitia with a dangerous cross from the left towards Roamrio's way, who doesn't go full tilt at it. The ball goes behind for a goalkick.

Three minutes of added time to find a winner.

88' East Bengal finishing strongly here and is camped in the opposition half. But no breakthrough yet from its intricate play.

Change for East Bengal: Mallick IN, Mahata OFF

84' Both teams looking to find the breakthrough but has failed with its actions in the final third.

80' Beitia is fouled again as Didika catches him with a high boot. He is booked for that action.

78' A dangerous tackle from Abhishek on Romario but the defender escapes a booking. Free-kick in Beitia territory  but the ball is headed away. A resulting cross from the play is headed over the bar by Fran Gonzalez.

Change for Bagan: Britto IN, Mollick OFF

73' Yellow card for Fran Morante for a foul on Santos. This sparks a tussle between the both set of players before its broke off by the referee.

73' Romario collects a cross inside the box and goes for a first time shot which is blocked by Mehtab.

Twenty minutes to go and East Bengal's big guns make their way into the middle.

Double change for East Bengal: Jaime Santos IN, Espada OFF; Bidyashagar IN, Ronaldo OFF

67' Mollick swings in a cross into the box from the right side which Gonzalez fails to keep on target with his header. This is becoming end-to-end stuff but East Bengal has been the sharper side in this half thus far.

64' Chance for East Bengal! Espada finds Mahata on the the right, who cuts the ball across the face of the goal for Ronaldo on a narrow angle. The Brazilian's side-footed finish is closed down by Debjit on the dive!

63' Tackle and some from Crespi! Suhair was looking to dart inside East Bengal's box behind Crespi but the Spaniard catches up before putting in a last-ditch tackle on the ball.

Change for Bagan: Romario IN, Naorem OFF

60' CHANCE FOR BAGAN! Ashutosh is found free on the right, who takes a touch before whipping in a delightful cross into the box. The ball is deflected and falls onto the path of Suhair, who fails to keep his shot on target from inside the six-yard box.

59' Abhishek turns on the afterburner and starts a run on the left flank which is met with a lunging tackle from Ashutosh Mehta!

57' Sloppy from Mohun Bagan at the back. Espada closed down Gurjinder as he looks to hoick the ball out from the back. The loose ball is then cleared behind for a corner. The corner is cleared out after a ping ball inside the area.

Mohun Bagan fans in the stadium hold up an inflated fish... Huge cheer went up as that image flashed on the bg screen.

54' Didika with an outswinging corner into the box and Espada's header is over the bar! The forward is complaining that he was hauled down while he went to meet the cross.

52' Fran Gonzalez goes for the spectacular diagonal switch to the right side but the pace on the ball is too much for Ashutosh to get to.

47' Mollick suffers a blow to his face. Free kick goes East Bengal's way. Skipper Dika loops in a dangerous ball which is headed away by Morante inside the box.

46' We are off for the second half. Suhair controls a long ball up front and hits it while off balance. Ball runs out of play.

The players are back for the second half. No changes for either team.

SECOND HALF

Mohun Bagan started brightly and should have been at least a goal up for its effort in the opening thirty minutes. But its quality in the final third has let it down. East Bengal, on the other hand, has been a bit sloppy with the ball struggling against Bagan's intensity. It has played itself into the game well in the last 15 minutes of the half. and maybe should have had a goal or two if not for Espada's poor decision making.

45' The referee blows for the half-time whistle and it's 0-0.

44' Espada takes a powerful shot from distance which is staright at Debjit, who collects it low on his knees.

43' What a chance for Suhair! The striker wins the ball up front and breaks forward with only the goalkeeper to beat. His shot, unfortunately, is straight at Laldanmawia.

40' Brandon plays in Espada but his first touch takes the ball away from him allowing Debjit to rush out and claim the ball. The Spanish forward should have done better with that...

38' Aidara again snaps at Beitia and the Spaniard goes down in agony. This time he goes into the referee's notebook much to the disapproval of the midfielder.

35' East Bengal is struggling to control the midfield area. Everytime they try to string a move together, they have struggled to live with Bagan's press. Sahil and Mallick have been impressive for Bagan in central midfield.

30' Chance at the other end. Brandon crosses in from the left which Espada decided to head down for Ronaldo instead of going for goal himself. His header falls at the feet of a Mohun Bagan defender and is cleared out.

28' Chullova and Naorem link up on the left flank before the latter whips in a low cross into the East Bengal box. Suhair's control takes the ball wide which allows Aidara to clear the ball away from danger.

26' Didika Ralte with a direct free-kick on the right side and he finds the gloves of Debijit.

25' Ashutosh Mehta with a dangerous cross from the right side and Fran Gonzlez flicks it inside the box which is cleared away on the bounce by Crespi.

21' Against the run of play, East Bengal gets a chance. Pintu breaks free on the right and his cross from the right is mariginally wide of his intended target, Ronaldo, in the six-yard area.

It's been all Mohun Bagan so far in the opening twenty minutes. Beitia has been shepherding Bagan, linking both attack and defence. East Bengal is struggling to live with his movement and trickery. Naorem, too, has complimented the Spaniard well on the left flank.

19' Beitia's jump in the center of the box doesn't meet the cross from the right wing. Naorem picks up the loose ball but is closed down before he could make room to take a shot at goal.

15' CHANCE! Beitia again whips in a dangerous free-kick into the back post where Morante comes into meet. His header into the far post just goes narrowly wide.

14' It's a dog fight for the ball as Aidara literally battles with two Bagan players for the ball before dragging Naorem down.

13' Kamalpreet with a late sliding tackle on Sahil. Another free kick for Bagan.

It's been a frantic start thus far with both teams having a real go at either ends. Plenty of bite too in the tackles. Has the making of a good derby day out for the spectators and neutrals alike.

8' Ronaldo steals the ball inside Bagan's half, dribbles his way into the center and unleashes a shot. Unfortunately for him, the shot is way off target. The East Bengal fans liked that. Ronaldo is making his first appearance in Red and Gold colours.

6' Aidara rams into the back of Beitia from behind, free kick for Bagan.

5' Bagan looks sharper with its combination play early on. Beitia and Naorem linking up well on the left channel.

2' Pintu Mahata sweeps the legs of Bagan's Naorem. Free kick for Bagan on the left touchline near the the half-line mark. Beitia swings in a cross which is flicked on into the path of Morante, who fails to get the touch on the stretch. That could have been 1-0 for Bagan.

1' Espada of East Bengal kicks things off. EB plays from left to right. Aidara with a long range effort early on! The ball goes wide.

FIRST HALF

Loud cheers greet the players arrival onto the turf. The atmosphere seems electric at the Salt Lake.

We have a full capacity at the Salt Lake Stadium with nearly 50,000 spectators in the stands.

It appears that Mohun Bagan is being super secretive with its starting XI reveal. We are hoping to get the news before we kick-off.... We do have it with 15 minutes to start of action. Big talking point from both sides with their selection: No Jamie Santos in EB's starting XI while Salva Chamorro isn't part of Mohun Bagan's squad today.

Starting XIs

East Bengal: Laldanmawia, Kamalpreet Singh, Marti Crespi, Mehtab Singh, Abhishek, Kassim Aidara, Pintu Mahata, Lalrindika Ralte (c), Brandon, Ronaldo Oliviera, Marcos Jimenez de la Espada

Subs: Asheer, J Santos, Boithang, Thononba, Samad, Bidyashagar, Mirshad, Manoj, Rohlupia

Mohun Bagan: Debjit Majumdar, Fran Morante, Gurjinder Kumar (c), Chullova, Nongdamba Naorem, Ashutosh Mehta, Surabbudin Mallick, Joseba Beitia, VP Suhair, Francisco Javier Gonzalez, Sk. Sahil

Subs: Shilton Paul, D'Silva, Faiaz, Romario Jesuraj, Britoo, Salvador, Subha, Arijit, Imran

CR Srikirishna is the referee for the day.

PREVIEW

A rejuvenated Mohun Bagan will be looking to recover the ground it lost in the last few engagements against traditional rival East Bengal when the two square up in the season’s first Kolkata derby in the Calcutta Football league (CFL) premier division ‘A’ fixture at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

READ| Kolkata Derby: Five most notable encounters between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal

Having lost two (I-league) and drawn other one (CFL) in the three meetings last season, Mohun Bagan is seeking to end the barren patch under the new Spanish coach Kibu Vicuna. This lends a fresh angle to the old rivalry which has entered the 94th year of its existence. The organiser, Indian Football Association, is confident that the 368th meeting between the two rivals will be a full house affair with tickets sales (in the 64,000 capacity stadium) nearly hitting the saturation point.

With Vicuna’s compatriot Alejandro Menendez helming East Bengal since the last season and a number of Spanish players filling up the ranks in both sides, the Kolkata Derby has gained a Hispanic tinge. This aspect seems to have heightened the tempo ahead of the contest as the fans on either side debate whether Salva Chamorro in Mohun Bagan attack or the East Bengal forward Jaime Santos Colado who will determine the result on Sunday.

With the season still in its nascent stage, both East Bengal and Mohun Bagan show a ledger that balances gains and losses in an almost equal measure. Appearing in the season’s first tournament, the Durand Cup, East Bengal bowed out in the semifinals before Mohun Bagan conceded defeat to the same side that defeated its city rival, Gokulam Kerala FC, in the title clash. The two sides started off with a defeat in their CFL engagements but East Bengal seemed to have stabilised better by winning its next two outings. On the other hand, Mohun Bagan has managed just a win in its three matches so far putting Vicuna’s men under pressure.

READ| The Kolkata Derby: Stats add intrigue to the Bagan-EB rivalry

“What happened in the past does not give the advantage to any side. The game is played and decided in 90 minutes on the field and we have to play to win,” said Menendez, who did not wish to be called the favourite ahead of the match. “We play 11 against 11. They have a good team and so have we. They play to their strong points and we play to ours,” Vicuna said.

Despite being good in the creative front, Vicuna’s main concern has been the defence as his team conceded goals in six of the eight matches it has played so far. With Joseba Beitia, Nongdamba Naorem and Chamorro making good starts, and Fran Gonzalez and V.P. Suhair chipping in well as substitutes in Durand Cup, Mohun Bagan seems to have sorted out key slots in middle and upfront of the park. “We are improving physically with every match and looking to do better than what we did in the last match,” said Vicuna, trying to instill confidence in his side.

Menendez, who coached East Bengal to the I-League runner-up spot last season, has given a cohesive look to the side. With the likes of Jaime Santos, Bidyasagar Singh, Kassim Aidara (France), Pintu Mahata and Boithang Haokip doing well in the midfield and attack, the Red and Golds also have a good defence where Spaniards Marti Crespi and Borja Gomez Perez have played key roles.

The back-line also has the likes of Mehtab Singh and Samad Ali Mallick, who have earned appreciation for their performances. “It (the match) is a very important game for our fans, officials and the players. We will try and get three points to keep the faith of the supporters on the team,” Menendez said, hinting at need to win the faith of the fans back after the team’s semifinal exit in Durand Cup.

The IFA made a big announcement towards spectator security brining everyone attending the match under insurance cover.

 

Live streaming of the match is availabale on Addatimes.