The micro-blogging site went into a frenzy over the young forward’s achievements in the biggest fixture of Indian football.
A 21-year-old forward Kiyan Nassiri wrote a new chapter in the history of Indian football in the 381st Kolkata Derby. The youngster scored a fabulous hat-trick, with two of his goals coming in the final minutes of stoppage time. His treble, only the fifth in Kolkata Derby history, helped the Mariners overturn a one-goal deficit into a 3-1 win.
After a cagey affair for the opening 50 minutes, with both teams guilty of squandering sitters, it was SC East Bengal who took the lead. Darren Sidoel’s flick from a corner deflected off Deepak Tangri and found the net. Moments later, ATK Mohun Bagan coach Juan Ferrando called upon young Nassiri for Deepak Tangri. Kiyan, Ferrando would say later, was asked to play as a false no. 9 behind David Williams.
It immediately clicked with the 21-year-old scoring the equalizer with his first touch. This was after Prabir Das’ curled low cross into the box had evaded everyone. But, Liston Colaco kept it in play and sent another inviting cross, which after a botched clearance from Adil Khan, fell into Kiyan’s path. He was sharp and quick to react, leaving SCEB goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya stranded with a curled effort from a tight angle.
From there, the game was heading for a draw, until Kiyan Nassiri struck again. With minutes left in injury-time, David Williams’ glancing header from a Colaco cross rattled the post and fell straight to him and Kiyan responded with a first-time right-footed half-volley. ATK Mohun Bagan 2, SC East Bengal 1. Moments later, Manvir Singh led a counter-attack, but lost the ball just outside the box after a last-ditch Adil Khan tackle. Once again, Nassiri was at the right place at the right time. He received the ball and volleyed home, this time with his left foot. Three points to ATK Mohun Bagan.
The Mariners’ 124th derby win will surely be a memorable one for numerous reasons. This victory also saw them rise to fourth in the league standings, with a game in hand. With only four points separating them from first-placed Hyderabad FC, they can easily close the gap with a victory over Mumbai City in their next game.
The first-ever Kolkata Derby dates back to 1921 and that is testament to its cultural significance to the fans and players alike. Twitter was bustling with energy and anticipation as the Mariners and the Red and Gold Brigad clashed for the 381st time last night. Let us look at how the social media network responded to this dramatic clash:
East Bengal legend, Jamshed Nassiri will surely be proud to see his derby heroics being passed into worthy hands. As journalist Sanjeeb Mukherjea reports, they became the first father-son duo to score in the prestigious Kolkata Derby.
ATKMB defender Tiri also grabbed the headlines as he became the first overseas player to make 100 appearances in the Indian Super League. Following this, he congratulated teammate Kiyan and lauded the team’s performance:
Sports broadcaster Anant Tyagi similarly chipped in his thoughts as he commended Kiyan Nassiri’s brilliant display :
Brazilian maestro Marcelinho also acknowledged the youngster for his sublime finishing skills.
Here is how the players from ATK Mohun Bagan reacted to the Kolkata Derby win.
Nassiri passed the hardest of tests with his debut in the Kolkata Derby. If he can continue to be consistent, we might just have another jewel of a forward joining the ranks of Indian football. For now, Nassiri is the talk of the town and is bound to get more gametime following his heroics in the Kolkata Derby.
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