The fourth week of the league saw a perfect buildup to the most awaited Kolkata Derby.
The Calcutta Football League is slowly moving to the business end of the season, with almost every team having played half their matches and the title race setup to be a predictable two-horse race. While the Kolkata giants in Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are yet to lose a match in the league so far and have only dropped two points, they will clash in the highly-anticipated Kolkata Derby this Sunday, where something has got to give. This week’s CFL saw some surprising results and the rise of the old guard.
Here we’ll look at the five talking points from the fourth week of the competition.
5. Overconfidence becomes Peerless’ bane as they bow out of CFL title race
Peerless SC succumbed to their first loss of the Calcutta Football League campaign when they were stunned by Calcutta Customs this week. Much like the others who underestimated Customs’ threat, Peerless also made the mistake of taking them lightly and were made to pay for it, as they were romped 3-1 by the impressive Customs team.
The loss was mostly due to Peerless’ overconfidence relating to their form, as they let their guard down against Customs and were made to pay for it. Despite regaining some reputation by surprisingly defeating Mohammedan Sporting on Thursday, that one defeat could effectively take them out of the title race. They are too many points behind East Bengal and Mohun Bagan and can now only concentrate on attaining a top four finish.
4. Can Tollygunge Agragami’s late resurgence help them avoid relegation?
Tollygunge Agragami were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief, as they crushed FCI 5-1 in what was their first win of the CFL season, earlier this week. A brilliant brace from new signing Bayi Kamo and a thunderous performance under new coach Bimal Ghosh helped them get their first points of the campaign.
Ever since letting go of underperforming manager Manoranjan Bhattacharya and instilling Ghosh as their new head coach, Tollygunge have started playing much better, free-flowing football which is expected from them. Agragami need to retain the confidence they gained from the win in their quest to avoid the drop.
3. Impressive Calcutta Customs breakthrough side of CFL 2018?
Calcutta Customs have probably been the most surprising element of the Calcutta Football League season and having not lost a single game so far, they’re looking more impressive than most expected them to be. Not only are Customs the only side so far to take a point away from East Bengal, but they further proved their ability with a 3-1 thrashing of Peerless recently.
They’ve won two and drawn three games so far, which is actually pretty great considering many were expecting them to lose many of those matches. Customs are arguably the breakthrough side of the tournament so far, with their surprising attacking power and defensive strength proving to be too hot to handle for many opponents.
2. Mohun Bagan reveling from the impressive chemistry between Dipanda Dicka and Henry Kisekka
Mohun Bagan have been on a roll recently and having thrashed West Bengal Police 5-0 last week, they showed their ability against better sides with a compelling 2-0 win over the resurgent Aryan SC this time around. While the introduction of Britto PM has improved their attack, Bagan have also succeeded because of the brilliant chemistry shared by strikers Dipanda Dicka and Henry Kisekka.
The two have been involved in five of Bagan’s last seven goals and they seem to be synchronized just as Sankarlal Chakraborty had hoped for. It seems like sticking with them leading the line has paid off for the Mariners, with Dicka and Kisekka’s telepathic-like connection causing nightmares for every opposition. Bagan will hope the African connection can pay off for them against East Bengal, as a Kolkata Derby win on Sunday could be vital to their hopes of winning the CFL for the first time in almost nine years.
1. Can East Bengal’s momentum help them win their first Kolkata derby in 3 years?
East Bengal have achieved some hard-fought wins recently in the Calcutta Football League to keep their undefeated streak intact, but their thrilling 2-1success over George Telegraph on Wednesday gave a boost of energy to the players. The Red and Gold have only conceded one goal so far and look unbreachable defensively, but the desire shown by them to come back and win the dying minutes against Telegraph rejuvenated the fans and players alike.
They picked up their momentum with their terrific victory and will hope it can take them all the way to success in the Kolkata Derby. East Bengal have not won the Derby in three years, but everything is working well for them, as the excellent mix of domestic and overpowering foreign players could prove too much for Bagan to handle on Sunday.