Hello and welcome to Sporstar's live coverage of the Calcutta Football League derby clash between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan.
What a thrilling encounter this turned out to be. Bagan took an early lead through derby debutant Pintu Mahata and the charismatic Henry Kisekka made it 2-0 in the opening 30 minutes. East Bengal's biggest signing of the season Johnny Acosta scored his first goal for the club in the last minute of added time in the first half and Laldanmawia Ralte found the equaliser in the 62nd minute to restore parity.
Both teams pushed hard for the winner but neither was able to find it and had to settle for a point each. Both teams are currently on 20 points each and EB will top the table on goal difference.
90+5' There's the whistle! East Bengal and Mohun Bagan play out a cracker of a derby and claim one point each. Full time scoreline reads 2-2.
90+3': I think we'll all have to agree that Acosta's goal in the 47th minute has been the turning point of the game. The Costa Rican pressed hard and won that goal on his own accord. The goal spurred on the EB players and they have put up a much better display in the second half.
90' We'll have five minutes of added time ladies and gents, five minutes of added time.
89' A cross from the right finds Al Amna in the box but his header sails well above the goal.
86' We've got less than five minutes of regular play left. Will we see a late winner?
85' Another change for EB. Bali Gagandeep replaces Jobby Justin.
82' Mahata delivers a teasing cross from the right and Dipanda rushes in to unleash a strong header but his attempt is off target.
79' Substitution for Bagan. Azharuddin comes on for Britto.
78' What a run from Jobby Justin! He weaves his way past the midfield and makes his way into the attacking third. He unleashes a cross that forces a stunning save from Shilton.
75' EB has upped the ante and is taking the attack to Bagan now. The Bagan defence has managed to hold on but not in the most convincing of fashions. 15 minutes of regulation time to go!
73' Second substitution of the evening for EB. Mollick comes on for Bandon.
71' A lovely counter from Bagan looked likely produced a goal but Eze Kingsley fouls a defender in the box and the move is halted.
67' This has been a complete reversal of tactics in the second half. EB has been doing most of the attacking while Bagan has chosen to sit back and defend.
Pintu Mahata scored the opening goal of this evening's Kolkata Derby. Want to know more about the 21-year-old who scores in his maiden derby? Here's all the key details .
65' Dipanda Dicka has a fine chance, he works his way past two defenders but fails to connect his shot. Best chance of the half for Bagan so far.
62' THERE'S THE EQUALISER! Laldanmawia Ralte finds the back of the net to restore parity. Scoreline reads 2-2 now. What a stunning comeback this has been from East Bengal. A very entertaining 30 minutes to follow!
57' Al Amna and Shilton pick up yellow cards for a scuffle.
57' Freekick for EB on the right flank. This is a promising chance for EB to find the equaliser.
54' Oh what a crucial save from Shilton. He rushes off his line to make a timely challenge and deny an onrushing Mahmoud al Amna.
52' First booking of the game. Kassim Aidara picks up a yellow card for a poorly time challenge on Pintu.
48' EB gets off to an attacking start. The side wins a freekick 40-odd yards from the goal and it looks promising, but the move amounts to nothing.
===> Mohun Bagan's biggest win over East Bengal is a 6-2 triumph. Can the Mariners emulate or perhaps better that feat today?
The players are back on the pitch and we're in for an exciting second half.
47' EB GETS ONE BACK! Costa Rican World Cupper Johnny Acosta scores to bring his side back into the tie. He sends a powerful header and the save ricochets off him and finds the back of the net. Bagan leads 2-1 at the end of the first half.
45' We'll have three minutes of added time in the first half.
40' Two goals in 31 minutes, Mohun Bagan has asserted it's attacking prowess with relatively unknown Pintu Mahata and Henry Kisekka getting the goals. Arijit Bagui, the right back picked up from a lesser known side Kalighat MS made the assist on both occasions.
36' Acosta has been EB's anchor so far. He's been a pillar in defence and has been a vital cog in midfield too. Can the World-Cupper inspire his side to a comeback?
34' It's been all Bagan so far. EB stages an attack but the Bagan defence thwarts the move before it could develop.
30' THERE'S THE SECOND GOAL! Henry Kisekka unleashes a ferocious drive to give Bagan a 2-0 lead. Kisekka has been the man to watch out for and he has delivered in fine fashion. He receives the ball from the right flank, controls it and picks his spot to double his side's lead.
26' It's Kisekka again! The EB defence fails to clear the corner and the ball finds Kisekka in the far corner. He's unable to direct his shot on goal.
24' Corner to EB. Acosta wins the header but fails to find the target.
22' Kisekka nearly makes it two! His attempt flashes just wide of the target.
20' GOAAAAAAAAL! Pintu Mahata converts a cross from the far post and fires a first time instep shot to put Bagan ahead. The goal was simply inevitable. The Bagan forwards have been relentlessly chasing the ball and the pressure they applied has finally paid off.
17' Bagan continues to make regular forays into EB's box. Kisekka has a shot on goal but the attempt lacks any venom. Acosta has been assigned the task of marking Kisekka and he's doing a fairly good job so far.
13' First chance of the evening for EB. A long freekick is launched into the box and EB's latest signing Johnny Acosta races to find the header but Shilton Paul makes a fine block to deny him.
12' There are lots of supporters in the stands in the first derby of the season.
10' We're ten minutes into this derby tie and Bagan has done most of the attacking. East Bengal has looked solid in defence and will now look to make its way into the opposition box.
8' Both the teams are trying to measure each other before launching a full scale attack.
5' WHAT AN ATTEMPT! Kisekka fires a lovely curling freekick but Rakshit Dagar is up to the task and palms the ball away for a corner. The resulting corner is dealt with and the scoreline remains unchanged.
5' Freekick to Mohun Bagan! Henry Kisekka is going to have a crack at it.
Here are the line ups for both teams:
The players are on the pitch and we're minutes away from action!
Defending champion East Bengal will look to continue its fine run when it takes on arch rival Mohun Bagan in the Calcutta Football League Premier Division ‘A’ on Sunday at the Salt Lake Stadium.
This is the season’s first derby clash and is also the first CFL derby to be played in the newly renovated Salt Lake Stadium.
The Kolkata giants are locked on 19 points ahead of what could be a potential title decider. East Bengal is behind the Mariners only on goals scored and a win for either side will pip them as the favourite heading into next week's final round fixtures.
EB is strengthened by the arrival of Costa Rican World Cupper Johnny Acosta, who officially signed for the club on Friday. Acosta is expected to strengthen the Red and Golds' defence, which otherwise has been quite strong conceding just once in seven matches. Acosta will be joining the likes of Mehtab Singh and Kingshuk Debnath, who have been impressive thus far.
On the creative front, Syrian Mahmoud Al Amna commands the central position in the midfield and his performance will be pivotal to how the holder plots its attack. Senegalese midfielder Kassim Aidara will be joining forces with Amna and Kamalpreet Singh, who are the other figures in the midfield. The striking job remains with Joby Justin, who has been the most successful among the attackers scoring three so far.
Bagan will be enjoying the fact that it has not lost to East Bengal in the last six Derby meetings since February 2017. This factor will keep the coach Shankarlal Chakraborty upbeat ahead of the encounter.
The Marriner's Cameroonian striker Aser Dipanda Dicka is in good form having scored seven while his partner upfront, Ugandan Henry Kisekka, will provide added firepower to the side.
Eze Kingsley, the Nigerian stopper-back, will be bolstering the side’s defence while the likes of Shilton D’Silva, Mehtab Hossain, who joined Bagan after a stint in the ISL and prolonged stay with its city rival, will be the key factors in the midfield battle.