I-League: Dicka leads Mohun Bagan to derby win

Forward Dipanda Dicka dazzled with a brace as the Mariners got their campaign back on track. East Bengal slipped to third in the points table.

Dipanda scored the fastest goal of the I-League season against East Bengal on Sunday.   -  AIFF

Criticised for being profligate inside the 18-yard box, Dipanda Dicka stepped up his game when it mattered most with two brilliant goals, as Mohun Bagan outclassed East Bengal 2-0 in a much-anticipated I-League clash here on Sunday.

Written off in the run-up to the high-voltage fixture due to its prolonged slump, a beleaguered Mohun Bagan found a star in Dicka, who showed his predatory skills with a couple of volleys out of top drawer as East Bengal’s hopes of winning the league almost went up in smoke.

Mohun Bagan jumped two places to be fourth in the standings after its dominating finish. It has 16 points with a match in hand; East Bengal, on the other hand, which slipped to third with 19 points from 10 outings.

East Bengal’s second loss of the season

It was a match that Mohun Bagan should have won by a bigger margin had Nikhil Kadam and Akram not bungled clear opportunities. Dicka struck the first goal with a snap volley in what was one of the fastest goal of the season in the second minute, while the second one (35th) was a treat as his acrobatic volley thundered into the back of the net.

This was East Bengal’s second loss of the season and both have come against its bitter foes, the first being a 1-0 defeat on December 3 in the first-leg.

Read - AFC Cup: Bengaluru FC rests Johnson, Miku for preliminary stages

Emotional scenes were witnessed in the embattled Mariners camp as the green-and-maroon fans sported masks of Sony Norde, its injured star I-League winning striker, who has decided to part ways.

Mohun Bagan and East Bengal faced off in their second Kolkata derby of the I-League season at the Salt Lake Stadium.   -  PTI

 

It was a ruthless show by Mohun Bagan; its opponent, coached by Khalid Jamil, seemed to hardly have any chance. East Bengal, however, had momentary joy in the 27th minute when Katsumi Yusa speared in a perfect delivery for Willis Plaza to head it in. But the assistant referee raised the flag and disallowed the goal.

Opportunities galore

Such was their Bagan’s domination that it could have pumped in at least half a dozen goals. Dicka missed a hat-trick, while Kadam squandered a one-on-one with Luis Barreto in the first-half injury time. Akram Moghrabi, formerly of Churchill Brothers, also had a brilliant opportunity after being set up by Dicka from the left but he shot over the bar in his maiden outing for Bagan.

Dicka gave Bagan a dream start to the derby as East Bengal’s defence was caught napping when he utilised Nikhil Kadam’s cross that was set up by Akram. He found himself in a perfect position from a Raynier Fernandes’ corner kick as he took it on the full and his left-footed volley was out of reach for Barreto. There was no looking back for Bagan from then on and it got its campaign back on track. The maiden derby win was a memorable one for coach Shankarlal Chakraborty, who was elevated after I-League winning Sanjoy Sen stepped down.

Shankarlal rung in three changes to Bagan’s line-up, handing a debut to Moghrabi, who partnered Dicka in the team’s 4-4-2 formation.

Final result
  • Mohun Bagan 2 (Dicka 2’ 35’) beat East Bengal 0

  Dugout videos