Kalinga Super Cup: East Bengal beats Mohun Bagan to qualify for semifinals

Cleiton Silva’s brace helped East Bengal dominate its rival to secure a comfortable 3-1 win and extend its unbeaten streak.

Published : Jan 19, 2024 21:29 IST , Bhubaneswar - 4 MINS READ

East Bengal captain Cleiton Silva celebrates after scoring a goal.
East Bengal captain Cleiton Silva celebrates after scoring a goal. | Photo Credit: AIFF

East Bengal captain Cleiton Silva celebrates after scoring a goal. | Photo Credit: AIFF

Cleiton Silva led from the front as East Bengal secured its second derby win of the season against arch-rival Mohun Bagan Super Giant in a Group A match and stormed into the semifinals of the Kalinga Super Cup at the Kalinga Stadium Main Pitch in Bhubaneswar on Friday.

East Bengal will face Jamshedpur FC in the semifinals.

East Bengal captain Silva hit a brace, while Nandhakumar Sekar, too got his name on the scoresheet. Hector Yuste had given Mohun Bagan the lead early in the first half.

East Bengal thus achieved victories in all three of its group matches, leading it to finish at the top of its group with nine points. Bagan had to settle for the second spot with six points, including two wins and a loss in its three matches.

AS IT HAPPENED: Mohun Bagan SG vs East Bengal highlights

Both East Bengal and Mohun Bagan started the match on six points each and shared an identical goal difference of +2. However, East Bengal held a slight edge in the standings as it scored more goals than Mohun Bagan.

With the group winners making it to the semifinals, Bagan entered the match with a clear objective: a win was essential to advance to the knockout stage. This understanding was evident from the outset, as it immediately adopted an aggressive stance following the first whistle by referee Venkatesh R.

Bagan’s forwards actively sought to penetrate the East Bengal defence, employing smart passes and through balls in its attempt to create scoring opportunities. It also utilised the full width of the pitch, aiming to stretch East Bengal’s defence and create spaces for attacking plays.

This led to a series of attacks and a significant number of set-pieces in the first 20 minutes. This pressure eventually resulted in a breakthrough in the 19th minute.

Dimitros Petratos delivered a well-executed low corner kick, and Hector Yuste showcased his skill by flicking the ball in at the near post to score.

ALSO READ: Kalinga Super Cup 2024: Sreenidi Deccan beats Hyderabad FC in Deccan derby

Despite conceding the goal, East Bengal did not lose its spirit. Instead, it responded in style. After a Souvik Chakraborty attempt struck the crosspiece in the 21st minute, East Bengal’s efforts were rewarded in the 24th minute when it equalised.

The goal originated from a throw by Mohamad Rakip, which resulted in a chaotic situation outside the Bagan penalty box. Seizing a loose ball, Silva fired a robust strike that successfully bypassed the reach of Bagan goalkeeper Arsh Anwer Shaikh and nestled into the net.

With the score tied at 1-1, both teams engaged in a tight contest. The first half concluded with a dramatic moment when Bagan was awarded a penalty after a shot from its winger, Kiyan Nassiri, struck the hand of Hijazi Maher inside the East Bengal box.

Dimitrios Petratos took the responsibility to take the spot kick and scored, but his goal was chalked off because his teammates Hugo Boumous and Raj Basfore had encroached into the box too soon. Faced with the pressure of a retake, Petratos stepped up once again. However, this time, he was unable to replicate his earlier success. His shot struck the woodwork, squandering a crucial opportunity to put Bagan ahead.

Bagan made a few changes in the second half, but its substitutes failed to make an impression.

East Bengal coach Carles Cuadrat, on the other hand, made a brilliant strategic move by deploying Chakraborty as Hugo Boumous’s marker. Chakraborty played a great match, as he didn’t give the playmaker much space to manoeuvre.

Kalinga Super Cup 2024 points table

The Red and Gold brigade also seized the opportunities coming their way and took the lead in the 63rd minute. Bagan defender Shiv Rana was lackadaisical on the ball, and East Bengal’s Borja Gonzalez chased him down to snatch it away. The Spaniard hit a curler past the Bagan keeper, but his shot hit the goalpost. Nandhakumar was nearby to slot home from the rebound.

East Bengal doubled its lead in the 80th minute.

A cross came in towards Hijazi who had got in a good position inside the Mohun Bagan box. He won the header, but the effort was straight at Arsh. Arsh held on to the ball initially but ended up spilling it, and Cleiton was there to capitalise on the mistake and bury the ball inside the net for his brace.

Match result
Mohun Bagan Super Giant 1 (Hector Yuste 19’) lost to East Bengal FC 3 (Cleiton Silva 24’, 80’, Nandhakumar Sekar 63’)
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