The striker’s future was clouded by uncertainity but he rose to the big occasion and delivered a match-winning brace against the Red and Gold.
Mohun Bagan kept their title hopes alive when they gave a dominating performance over East Bengal to defeat their rivals 2-0 in the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday. Bagan picked up the tempo against their rivals and went ahead in the 1st minute through Aser Dipanda Dicka, who completed a brace with a stunning acrobatic effort later on in the first half to sink Khalid Jamil’s men.
While it was a spectacular team effort from Bagan, East Bengal looked toothless in all areas of the field and had a day to forget! So let’s take a look at the Player Ratings for the match.
Luis Barreto – 3/10
Barreto proved East Bengal’s fans fear over him right on the day when he had a day to forget in between the posts and tragedy struck him when Dicka scored in the 1st minute of the match! He didn’t look to be in control at all and didn’t help his hapless defence with his antics either. Barreto could’ve done better to save Dicka’s first goal, but was quite helpless for his amazing second one.
He didn’t look so confident either and made quite a few mistakes here and there and was quite lucky to have not conceded more on the day. His terrible outing is a sign of worry for Bengal, who are being plagued by their goalkeeper issues for the past few seasons now.
Lalramchullova – 5/10
After impressing against Aizawl FC at his former home on the other day, Lalram Chullova couldn’t replicate that kind of a performance in this vital match. He was finding it really difficult to contain the dangerous Nikhil Kadam, who often went past him and delivered some inviting crosses into the box.
Chullova was nullified completely by Bagan, who didn’t let him attack either and kept him quiet on the attacking front. He lost a lot of energy in the 2nd half and couldn’t do anything to stop Bagan’s counter-attacks, and was lucky that his mistakes didn’t result in more goals for the Mariners.
Arnab Mondal – 5/10
East Bengal’s captain failed to lead from the front against Mohun Bagan and struggled against the skill and strength of both Dicka and Akram Moghrabi, who terrorized him throughout his tenure. Mondal was shaken away too easily by Akram for the goal and couldn’t marshall his troops properly in set-pieces, resulting in Bagan scoring from one in the first half.
Mondal couldn’t do anything to contain Akram or Dicka, with their inter-changing causing him a lot of problems. Was substituted in the second half for the more attacking Calvin Lobo and will need to do better against Minerva Punjab next.
Eduardo Ferreira – 5/10
Eduardo Ferreira had a point to prove against his former club after failing to do so earlier in the season but had a day to forget once against in the Kolkata derby. Ferreira didn’t look to be properly synchronized with Mondal in the center of defense and often made rash decisions which impacted his defensive work.
Debutant Akram drastically troubled the defender
Edu couldn’t assert any dominance over Dicka or Akram and was powerless to stop the early goal or the acrobatic effort from Dicka. He got frustrated in the second half and lashed out at the Mohun Bagan players, being lucky to not be sent off.
Salam Ranjan Singh – 6/10
Salam Ranjan Singh might be younger than Mondal and Eduardo Ferreira, but he showed a lot of composure throughout the game today. While the other defenders and midfielders crumbled to Mohun Bagan’s pressure throughout the 90 minutes, Ranjan Singh was the only shining light for the defense and did a great job at left-back.
He didn’t let Bagan penetrate through his wing and when was moved to the center of defense, later on, Singh looked much better than Mondal had been in the first half. He helped stop many of Bagan’s attacks and avoid a humiliation for his team and proved why he’s touted as one of the brightest young defenders in the country.
Prakash Sarkar – 5.5/10
Prakash Sarkar has been used quite weirdly by Khalid Jamil throughout the I-League season, as he stars every match only to be subbed after the 20 minutes mark. But Jamil couldn’t do so because of Mahmoud Al-Amnah’s early injury forcing him to be subbed-out, which meant Sarkar could play a bit more.
He wasn’t really effective for his team and couldn’t do anything to spark up East Bengal’s hopes on the day. Sarkar did manage to get a shot on target, but was quite ineffective beyond that and was eventually subbed off right before the end of the first half.
Mohammed Rafique – 6/10
Rafique was a bit misused by Khalid Jamil on the day as he didn’t really know where to stick and tried his hand in various positions around the park. Although the versatile midfielder did pretty well to move around the ball and try to create some opportunities for his side, he just didn’t get enough support and was zoned out by Bagan’s midfielders after a point of time.
Rafique did manage to create some opportunities and did his defensive duties fairly well too, making some important interceptions at times and was one of the better midfielders for East Bengal on a day when their whole midfield was over-run by Bagan.
Mahmoud Al-Amnah – N/A
Al-Amna has been an important clog in Bagan’s midfield throughout the season, but the Red and Gold Brigaders were dealt a big blow when he seemingly pulled his hamstring in the early minutes of the match. Had to be stretchered off and replaced by Barzie Armand.
EB vs MB highlights
Katsumi Yusa – 7/10
Katsumi Yusa has arguably been the most consistent player for East Bengal this season and maintained that consistency even during their horrid performance against Mohun Bagan. He looked like the only one interested in making something happen for Bengal and was an absolute menace in that left-flank for them. He often went past Arijit Bagui and put in dangerous balls into the penalty area, but nobody could finish them off.
Katsumi was especially lively in the second period where he created numerous opportunities for his side. Despite the loss, Yusa played like a winner on the day and was unlucky to be on the losing side.
Willis Plaza – 5/10
Willis Plaza made his first start for East Bengal after a number of matches being out of the starting line-up and was a very frustrating figure for the fans on the day. He couldn’t link up well with Dudu and struggled to make anything happen despite getting the ball in promising positions throughout the match.
He couldn’t get into positions to score from and his lack of chemistry with Dudu or the rest of his side cost East Bengal deer. Things got worse for him when he picked up an injury in the 2nd half and had to play through it, with his poor performance probably sending him to the back of the line.
Dudu Omegbemi – 5/10
Dudu Omegbemi came into the Kolkata Derby with a lot of expectations on his shoulders, but unlike Akram Moghrabi who had a brilliant debut for his side, Dudu failed to do anything good for his side. It seemed like he hasn’t fit into East Bengal’s system yet as he failed to do anything and couldn’t finish off any chances he got.
His link-up play with Plaza and the others were poor as well and he didn’t seem to be match-fit at all. Dudu still has a lot to do in order to pick up his game because his debut was one to forget for the experienced striker.
Barzie Armand – 7/10
Barzie Armand may have been rested for the Derby, but fate would have other plans for him as the midfielder was subbed in for the injured Al-Amna quite three minutes into the game. But he actually seemed to be full of energy and worked really hard in the middle of the park for East Bengal, winning many balls and marauding forward with the ball with intent.
He actually seemed to be interested in putting in crunching tackles and starting off some moves for his team from the back in the first half. Barzie was switched to the role of a left-back in the second half and showed great versatility by holding his own in that position, proving how he’s a decent utility player to have.
Surabuddin Mollick – 5/10
Surabuddin Mollick was brought in to bring some steel into the midfield of East Bengal after it was being heavily over-run by Mohun Bagan in the first half, but he crumbled against the pressure the Mariners put in the second half.
He couldn’t really fit into the game and was quite useless and almost invisible in the right-flank and was unable from Bagan producing each and every one of their moves through that flank. Mollick turned out to be a really bad substitution from Jamil and added nothing for them.
Cavin Lobo – 6/10
Cavin Lobo has proved to be a bit of a super-sub for East Bengal this season as he’s often brought in by Khalid Jamil to add some spark to their attack. Lobo actually looked decent after coming on for Arnab Mondal and linked up well with Katsumi.
He even created some opportunities for his side and made some good passes to Katsumi, but his crucial passes couldn’t be capitalized on by the strikers. Lobo couldn’t save East Bengal from doom on the day, but at least installed some urgency in attack after coming on.
Shilton Paul – 6/10
Shilton Paul was actually a doubt going into the derby because of having some stomach-problems prior to the game but made the team much to the relief of his supporters. Although he didn’t really have much to do because of how dominant his team’s performance was, Paul was very sharp and was on notice of any threat at all times.
He made some crucial saves and showed a lot of confidence with his punches and positive collection of the ball. Paul did make some confident saves and made sure that his defense wasn’t breached in this important fixture.
Arijit Bagui – 6.5/10
Arijit Bagui was the only defender who actually had a real threat in his wing but did rather decently against his former team-mate in Katsumi Yusa. Bagui was pretty solid in the first half where he completely isolated Katsumi and did well on the attacking front as well, making some clever passes to break open East Bengal’s defense.
It got a bit difficult for him in the second half where Katsumi really got going, but he did well to stop him from scoring or making any big goal-scoring chance for his side. Despite being the most tested defender, Bagui gave a strong performance and help his side get an important clean-sheet.
Kinshuk Debnath- 7/10
Kingshuk Debnath may have been under pressure for some poor performances in the past few weeks, but he seemed to be pumped up against Bagan’s bitter rivals in East Bengal. Debnath was rock solid against the daunting task of defending against two strong strikers like Plaza and Dudu and absolutely neutralized their threat throughout the game.
Debnath often put his body on the line to make crunching challenges to keep out any danger from his box and was a leader from the back for Bagan until he had to be subbed off late into the game after suffering an injury. The experienced defender may have made mistakes in past matches, but he was absolutely superb against Bengal and earned three vital points for his team.
The Red and Golds could not get past this Bengal tiger
Kingsley Eze: 7/10
The Hero of the Match in the reverse fixture didn’t have that much of an impactful game as the one he did against East Bengal a month ago, mostly because of how dominant Mohun Bagan was at the day. Kingsley did pretty well to contain Dudu who was mostly playing at his side and linked up well with Kinshuk to stop the duo from terrorizing them.
Kingsley seemed to be pretty strong in the air and did well to clear the danger in numerous times. He looked to be in control which he has been throughout the season and helped Bagan maintain one of the best defensive records in the league.
Ricky Lallawmawma- 7.5/10
Ricky Lallawmawma has been silently churning out great performances for Mohun Bagan throughout this season and he upped it against East Bengal. He gave one of his best performances for the Mariners so far, completing neutralizing whatever threat East Bengal tried to send his way in the game. He contained all of Rafique, Sarkar and Mollick amazingly when they tried to drift into his wing and did his defensive duties perfectly.
Ricky was even better going on the attack, linking up brilliantly with Nikhil Kadam and delivering some stunning crosses into the box, with this stunning performance further proving why he’s valued so highly by the Mariners.
Sk. Faiaz- 6/10
Sk. Faiaz had a rather quiet day at the office for Mohun Bagan and didn’t really do anything eventful in the right-flank. He found it a bit difficult to go past Salam Ranjan Singh and had to come a bit central to be involved in the attacks. Faiaz came close at getting his shot at goal with some opportunities but failed to convert some great chances he received.
Faiaz’s defensive contribution was pretty decent as well, as he dropped deep to help out in containing Katsumi in the second half and despite being not that sparkling, he showed bags of energy and passion in the field.
Raynier Fernandes- 7/10
Raynier Fernandes seems to have slowly but surely formed a decent partnership with Cameron Watson in the middle of the park and proved that with a solid performance in this must-win derby for Mohun Bagan. Fernandes was pretty good with his distribution and made some great passes throughout the game, while also doing his defensive duties really well.
Fernandes got an assist to his name when his corner was expertly converted by Dicka to double Bagan’s lead in the first half, proving how his set-piece taking has improved drastically. The young midfield did his job perfectly and gave Watson a lot of freedom because of how good he was and repaid the faith shown to him by management with a great performance.
Cameron Watson- 8/10
Cameron Watson spoke about how excited he was to play his first Kolkata Derby and his performance was one which will be remembered for a long time because of how dominant he was in the middle of the park. Watson was amazing on the day where he maintained absolute superiority from his opponents and seemed to be effortless with his amazing ball-distribution in midfield.
He showed a lot of energy and helped to kick-start many counter-attacks in the second half especially, with his precise long passes finding its target almost all the time. The Australian midfielder was unlucky to not get a goal or assist to his name in the end, but his overall display was absolutely amazing.
Nikhil Kadam- 7/10
Nikhil Kadam has taken some time to adapt to the Mohun Bagan team, but has been pretty impressive recently and continued his good form against East Bengal. While he didn’t have an assist or a goal to his game, Kadam was an absolutely terrorizing figure in the left-wing for the Mariners. He made life very difficult for Chullova and whipped in many dangerous crosses from his wing to create even more opportunities for them.
But something Kadam needs to work on his is finishing, as he had at least 3 chances to score goals throughout the match. While he was unlucky to have no goals, he played really well and has reserved a spot in the wings with his performance.
Akram Moghrabi- 8/10
With Sony Norde surely being out of the Kolkata Derby, Mohun Bagan needed another hero to inspire them into turning around their fortunes and they got exactly that in the brilliant Akram Moghrabi. The striker has already formed a brilliant partnership with Dipanda Dicka and made an impact in the first minute itself when he headed down the ball for Dicka to score the opener.
His link-up play was excellent with his co-striker, as he actually created quite a few chances in the first half itself for his team. The striker looked really hungry for goals in the second half and was unlucky to not get them, with some of his efforts going just wide off the mark but his terrific performance making him an instant hero in the eyes of fans.
Moghrabi, Dicka and Obumneme rose to the occasion to thrash their bitter rivals
Aser Dipanda Dicka- 9/10
Aser Dipanda Dicka turned from zero to hero in the Kolkata Derby on Sunday when he gave an incredible performance to give an important three points to his team. Dicka stunned many when he latched onto Akram’s header and scored an impressive goal in the first minute itself, sending the Bagan fans to ruptures. The striker looked really well with his link-up play with Akram in the attack, while he also did well to drop deep and defend his team.
But his shining moment came later in the first half when he hit an amazing acrobatic bicycle-kick to double the lead for his side. Dicka got some more chances to complete a hattrick in the second half but was unlucky to not have, but his spectacular performance won him the “Hero of the Match” award and got him “heroic status” among the Mariners.
Shilton D’Silva- 6/10
Shilton D’Silva was brought in to preserve Mohun Bagan’s lead and was substituted in for the brilliant Raynier on the day. The midfielder did well to work alongside Watson and didn’t let East Bengal get any sniff at goal in the ending stages of the match. He did his job pretty well and helped Bagan protect their lead really well, making sure they end the match in a dominant fashion.
Rana Gharami- N/A
Gharami was brought in for the injured Kinshuk and did well to contain the East Bengal strikers and make sure Bagan would get a precious clean-sheet on the day.
Azharuddin Mallick- N/A
Azhar was brought in the dying minutes of the game and couldn’t really make much of an impact in the little time.