The Mariners once again walked away with the points and bragging rights continuing their recent domination in the biggest match in Indian football.
Mohun Bagan defeated Kingfisher East Bengal by the slimmest of margins in the first Kolkata Derby of the 2017/18 Hero I-League at the refurbished Vivekananda Yuvabharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium) in Kolkata on Sunday.
It was a historic game of sorts, given it’s the first derby to be hosted at the Salt Lake Stadium, after the arena was renovated for the recently concluded FIFA U17 World Cup.
Mohun Bagan started the game in a positive manner they had more shots in the first 15 minutes, but East Bengal looked dangerous when they attacked through the flanks.
In the end, Bagan managed to get the win with a first-half goal from defender Kingsley, as they surged three points ahead of their arch-rivals. Let’s have a look at how the players from both sides featured in this derby:
Shilton Paul- 7.0
Shilton was splendid under the bars for the Mariners and had he not made those spectacular saves for Bagan in the second half specially it, would have been a different story.
Arijit Bagui- 5.0
The Bengali lad had a tough time on the pitch controlling the likes of Brandon Vanlalremdika and Laldanmawia Ralte in his first game. He looked nervous throughout the 90 minutes and East Bengal attacked mostly from his side.
Kingsley Eze Obumneme- 8.0
Kingsley scored his first I-League goal and he was solid during the first half. He also kept the likes of Willis Plaza, Mahmoud Al Amnah and Katsumi Yusa in check and made sure that the trio doesn’t have much space to operate in.
Obumneme celeberting his winning goal against East Bengal
Kingshuk Debnath- 7.0
Kingshuk had a good game and supported Kingsley in the heart of the defense. He worked hard to keep the likes of Amnah and Plaza at bay. He also made some crucial tackles and clearances.
Ricky Lallawmawma- 5.5
Ricky had an average game all through. He looked brilliant at times but was often beaten by his former teammates at Aizawl, Lalramchullova and Laldanmawia.
Yuta Kinowaki- 8.5
Probably the best Bagan player on the pitch. Yuta did a brilliant job in keeping Yusa and Amnah quiet and never let them dominate the game. Frankly speaking, he should have been the Hero of the Match.
Raynier Fernandes- 7.0
Raynier had a pretty decent game considering the position he was operating from and his experience. He was used as a cover for Kinowaki in the heart of the midfield and performed pretty well in controlling Amnah and Armand Bazzou as well.
Sony Norde- 8.0
Apart from his few close misses in the second half, Norde was electrifying throughout the match. He was the engine of the Bagan team and lead from the front. Kingsley’s goal came from the Haitian’s perfect corner.
Naro Hari Shrestha- 5.0
He was basically used to fill in the U-22 quota slot. He was on the pitch for almost 30 mins but never looked comfortable. During that time, Shrestha never had the ball at his feet for any length of time.
Ansumana Kromah- 7.0
Did his job pretty well. After Asier Dipanda Dicka was taken off the pitch due to an injury, Kromah took charge and jelled very well with Norde.
Asier Dipanda Dicka- 6.0
Dicka wasn’t at his best in the game. Maybe the pressure of the derby got to him. He went down easily and looked out of place a lot. On top of that, a knee injury on his left foot in the 58th minute prevented him from taking any further part in the game.
Sk. Faiaz- 6.0
Faiaz was much better than Sreshtha and kept the likes of Deepak occupied in defense. His timing was pretty decent enough moving along the flanks.
Shilton D’Silva- 6.5
Shilton was brought on for the injured Dicka to shut shop in the midfield and block the attacks from Bazzou, Amna and Yusa and he did his job perfectly.
Nikhil Kadam- NA
Kadam came into the dying moments of the match in the 86th minute and had nothing much to do apart from few moves and one or two sliding tackles.
Kolkata Derby 20017-18 Extended Highlights
Luis Barreto- 7.0
The 36-year old custodian from Goa made a few good saves standing tall under the bars. When Bagan’s Norde was making those continuous attacks inside the box, It was Barreto with the help of Eduardo Ferreira at the center-back position who stood tall and made those crucial saves.
Mehtab Singh- 4.0
As expected, the U-22 player was on the pitch for 25 minutes only to fill in the quota. During that time he es never able to deny Norde from getting those curling crosses into Kromah and Dicka. The Haitian always got the better of Mehtab during that period.
Gurwinder Singh- 6.0
Gurwinder didn’t have the best of games. He was often beaten by the likes of Kromah and Dicka and failed to play a supportive role to Ferreira. Sometimes, he was also seen involved in rough conversations with Bagan players and the referee.
Eduardo Ferreira- 7.0
The better of the two centre-backs and the best in the back four for East Bengal. Ferrreira kept Kromah and Dicka quiet on a few occasions and took a lot of workload to deny Norde from scoring.
Ferreira was one of the best player’s for East Bengal alongside Amnah
Deepak Kumar- 5.0
Worked hard defensively, but was left wanting in the attack. He also had a lot of miscommunication with his midfielders which resulted in East Bengal losing possession. His crosses were pathetic.
Bazzou Armand- 4.0
He could have been the difference in the game if he was at his best but he was below-par. Bazzou was operating in such a position which is considered as one of the most difficult positions in modern football. He failed to win the second balls for East Bengal and attempted a lot of poor passes.
Mahmoud Al-Amnah- 8.0
The Syrian International was the only player on the pitch donning the Red and Gold jersey who looked brilliant from the start. Just like Norde of Bagan, Amnah was the engine for EB. He moved all over the pitch making some dangerous moves but due to poor conversion from the forwards, those did not turn out to be goals. When needed, he came back too to support the defense.
Katsumi Yusa- 6.0
Yusa tried hard but didn’t perform up to his best. He had a free-kick that just whizzed past the post. If that would have gone in it would surely have been rated as one of the best goals in recent derbies. On top of that, the Japanese was made to look off-colour by his compatriot Kinowaki who kept him on a leash from the word-go.
Brandon Vanlalremdika- 7.0
Brandon was lively right from the start. He did brilliantly to beat Bagui almost always. He cut in from midfield and played as a central midfielder on certain occasions. He also helped his defenders from time to time.
Laldanmawia Ralte- 6.0
Danmawia was probably the most subdued East Bengal midfielder in the game. He was nowhere close to the level which he played in the last Calcutta Football League derby and was awarded Man of the Match. He did make some good runs but was mostly unseen during the game. He had a brilliant chance in the closing stages of the game, only to be denied by Shilton’s brilliant save.
Willis Plaza- 3.0
Now, what do we say about this man! The most unpredictable forward India has ever seen in the last decade. A forward who will convert the toughest of chances that nobody expects and at the same time will miss easy opportunities in crunch situations when his team needs it the most. Such has been his story. Plaza had two of the best chances of the game, one in the first half and the other in the second. However, he failed to get a shot on goal on both occasions.
Lalramchullova should have been in the starting XI. He did brilliantly going forward and his crosses were top notch. He had Norde off his feet quite a times. He also covered the tracks of Gurwinder and Ferreira. He made some crucial interceptions.
Charles Souza- 3.0
Charles was very poor to be true. His touches and hold-up play were way below-par. He also gifted Bagan possession a couple of times.
Cavin Lobo- 6.0
Lobo nearly scored after coming onto the pitch. He also put in some good balls into the box, but the attackers failed to use them properly.