Hello and welcome to Sporstar's LIVE coverage of the marquee I-League clash between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan.
Referee R. Venkatesh blows the whistle and that settles the tie. East Bengal staged a stunning performance to come from behind and defeat Mohun Bagan 3-2 at the Salt Lake Stadium. Laldanmawia Ralte's brace and a stunner from Jobby Justin sealed the match and steered East Bengal to its first Kolkata Derby win since April 2016.
Right choice indeed! Sixty-one per cent of you said East Bengal would soar to a win tonight.
90+3' That'll be the last change of the match. Jaime Santos is replaced by Salam Ranjan Singh.
90' Three minutes of added time, we will have three minutes of added time ladies and gents.
86' What a chance! Justin is played on goal and he skillfully weaves his way past three defenders but fails to beat the 'keeper. Justin tries to squeeze it throws Sankar Roy's legs but the 'keeper makes a fine save.
80' We're down to the final 10 minutes of this Kolkata Derby. East Bengal has a slender 3-2 lead but Mohun Baganis looking menacing, eager to find that one opening in the opposition defence. An intense 10 minutes in store!
75' Cometh the hour cometh the man! Dicka brings Mohun Bagan right back into the tie with a sublime strike from the edge of the box. He has threatened all evening and finally finds the back of the net. We're now set for an exciting finish!
70' Ooooh, that was close! Dicka leaps above the entire East Bengal defence to connects with the corner but misses the target by a whisker.
66' Another strange miss for the ref. East Bengal defender Borja Perez slides in the box to defend a cross and the ball clips his arm in the process but the referee fails to spot it. The Bagan players, led by Dicka, bombard referee R. Venkatesh with appeals but the man with the whistle refuses to budge.
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62' IT'S RALTE AGAIN! Skipper Lalrindika Ralte curls in a beautiful freekick and Laldanmawia Ralte converts it to extend East Bengal's lead to 3-1. Laldanmawia's first-time header was saved by Sankar Roy but he latched onto the rebound to bag his second goal of the evening.
60' IT'S RED! Mohun Bagan captain Kingsley Eze hacks down Jobby Justin at the edge of the box and gets the marching orders after picking up his second yellow card! Kingsley heads in for an early shower and Mohun Bagan is in all sorts of trouble now.
55' Kinowaki has been an absolute menace for the Mohun Bagan defence today. He find space outside the box and loops in a fine corner towards the far post. Faiaz leaps above Manoj Mohammad but his header is off-target.
52' OUCH, this doesn't look good for East Bengal! Justin has gone down in a heap and appears to be in immense pain.
48' Silly, silly error for World-Cupper Johnny Acosta. Dicka haggles him from behind and lays a push or two and Acosta falls to the ground and handles the ball, claiming the foul. The ref though, thinks otherwise and books Acosta for the hand ball and awards East Bengal the freekick.
We're back for another 45 minutes of nerve-wracking football! Sit tight and stay tuned for live updates.
Will East Bengal soar to its first Kolkata Derby win in over two years tonight? Have your say below:
44' WHAT A GOAL! WHAT A GOAAAAAAAAAAAAL! Ralte receives a cross in the box and heads it in Jobby Justin's direction. Justin steadies himself and scores off a spectacular overhead kick to give East Bengal the lead at the cusp of half-time. Man, what a stunning goal!
42' We have the first change of the match. Mohun Bagan's goal-scorer Azharuddin Mallick is replaced by SK Faiaz.
35' Buoyed by its new Spanish signing, Jaime Santos, East Bengal is keeping more possession while Mohun Bagan is trying to attack on the break. Will we see another goal below the half-time interval?
32' How was he not sent off for that? Jaime Colado, already on a yellow card, throws another nasty elbow on a Bagan forward which would have seen him go into the ref's book on any other day but he's let off this time. The Bagan players are clearly miffed with the ref's decision.
31' End to end action here at the Salt Lake Stadium. Joby Justin and Dipanda Dicka have been pouncing on each chance that comes their way, keeping both the defences on their toes.
27' How was that not called a foul? Dicka is through on goal and Ralte hacks him down on the edge pf the box but the ref sees nothing. Dicka is visibly agitated and races to the ref but he has none of it.
24' Unnecessary. A rash and rather late tackle from Yuta Kinowaki sees him pick up a yellow card.
20' We're 20 minutes into the tie and boy, what a cracker of a contest it has been so far! A goal from each side in a span of three minutes has completely lit up the Salt Lake Stadium!
16' East Bengal equalises! Bagan's defence shuts down as Laldanmawia Ralte finds himself on the end of a through ball and calmly sidefoots it past the keeper.
13' And Mohun Bagan takes the lead! Omar's cross from the left beats the diving keeper and Azharuddin taps it on the volley into an open net.
12' That is the first Yellow Card of the day and that too for Mohun Bagan skipper Eze as he commits a foul on debutant Colado.
7' Most of the game has been restricted to the centre-line till now with no sign of going on the offensive except for one occasion where Manoj successfully denied the Mariners.
5' Both the teams are trying to measure each other before launching a full scale attack.
2' Rash challenge from Manoj. Referee warns him but no, not a card this early.
THERE'S THE KICKOFF! The game gets underway and it doesn't get bigger than this. The crowd is deafening!
"Football is a beautiful game and spectators make it all the more beautiful" says a banner and the Kolkata crowd here at the Yuva Bharati setting an example.
Both the sides are tied on the league table with nine points from six matches which makes this contest all the more exciting.
This is the 348th Kolkata Derby that we are going to witness.
The century-approaching Kolkata football derby will be seeing another edition as traditional rivals East Bengal and Mohun Bagan renew their duel at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday. The standing in the league table is of little significance in this battle of prestige which draws a capacity crowd every time the two come face to face.
The current league standings have both the city giants placed in the bottom half with the two tied on nine points each after playing six matches. After making a good start to the season, East Bengal suffered three successive defeats before returning to winning ways with a 3-1 win against Gokulam Kerala FC in its last outing at home.
The club, managed by Alejandro Menendez, is looking to find the cohesion that has been absent in the side’s showing in the majority of its outings. With forward Joby Justin having a great match against Gokulam in the previous match, East Bengal will be upbeat about its chances against its archrival.
Mohun Bagan's talisman Sony Norde will miss the derby through an injury.
“This match is very important for everyone, for supporters, us and also in terms of the challenge for the title. This is a match which is more about emotions. We will try to approach it with a better spirit tomorrow,” East Bengal’s Spanish coach said.
Bagan also has had a mixed season so far and is yet to get a settled look as coach Sankarlal Chakraborty tries to get the balance to the side. Bagan started with two successive draws. In its last outing, Bagan shared points with Chennai City FC.
“We are trying to stay relaxed. There is no pressure right now. The players understand the situation and know well where the team will go after winning or losing tomorrow,” Chakraborty said while adding that the team’s key attacker, Haitian Sony Norde will be missing the action owing to injury.
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