Jobby Justin scored one and assisted the other to help East Bengal beat Mohun Bagan 2-0 in the I-League Kolkata Derby at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday.
Watched by a near capacity crowd of around 63,000, East Bengal scored in each half to win the Kolkata Derby on successive occasions for the first time in 15 years. In their last encounter in December, East Bengal won 3-2.
Justin’s assist saw Spaniard Jamie Santos find the opener late in the first half before the East Bengal forward nodded home a corner to fetch the winner late in the second half.
MB vs EB - Key Highlights
East Bengal gained from an organised game which reflected in the red-and-gold brigade finding the attack route with more authority and purpose. A good part of the Mohun Bagan side was found lacking in positional sense as its attacks ran out of steam much ahead of the striking zone.
A misunderstanding between the East Bengal defenders Borja Gomez and Kamalpreet Singh gave Aser Pierrick Dipanda Dicka a stray chance in the second minute. The Cameroonian’s attempted lob over East Bengal custodian Rakshit Dagar failed to bring any result as the latter recovered well to save it.
As the intensity of the contest increased, East Bengal made a loud call for a penalty against the Bagan goalkeeper Shilton Paul, who had brought down an onrushing Justin with a two-footed challenge inside own box in the 18th minute. But referee R. Srikrishna sought to overlook it.
Always looking for a scoring opportunity, the industrious Justin scripted the opening goal for East Bengal as he snatched the ball from the Bagan defender Kingsley Eze on the right flank and set up Santos inside the box to finish the move in the 35th minute.
Mohun Bagan tried to stage a comeback after the break and almost found the break as Sony Norde’s corner was nodded on the crosspiece by Kingsley. Darren Caldera went for the rebound before Dicka slotted home the ball just to see the goal disallowed as the assistant referee signalled an infringement.
Srikrishna’s supervision came under question twice in the second half when he ignored East Bengal midfielder Jaime Santos hitting Dicka in an off-the-ball situation the 49th minute and let the player off the hook even without a caution. In the 66th minute, East Bengal defender Kassim Aidara’s infringement on Dicka inside own box was also overlooked.
Bagan’s hopes of a comeback were nixed late in the second half when Justin nodded home a corner in the 75th minute to double East Bengal’s lead and seal the win.
East Bengal picks up all three points to become level with Real Kashmir on 25 points. EB, however, will remain in the fourth spot owing to its inferior goal difference. Mohun Bagan remains in the sixth spot.