Bagan drew the first blood through a Bhutia goal. Barreto took a right footer aiming Subrata Pal who blocked the ball only to fall to Bhaichung's feet, who placed the ball in.
After the goal, Bagan became complacent and let the reign off to East Bengal whose first possitive move in the 25th minute materialised as Surkumars grounder went into the net. Another Sangram Mukherjee special howler. 25 mins on the clock and all to play for.
The Bagan defence suddenly was fluandering in darkness and not a single EastBengal players marked as after playing a one-two Dipendu rolled in the second one. Sangram was a mere spectator. Two attempts on goal, and both goes in. Bagan down 2-1.
The remainder of the first half saw a very poor performance from Bagan.
After the second half started, Bagan attacked all out and digging thier own grave, Bagan players crowded the East Bengal penalty for a corner, and the defence totally out of place conceded another goal. Ashim scores. 1-3 the score.
Bagan stepped on the gas and with Lalkamal in place of Suman Dutta in the midfield and Lalampuia up front.
The Midfield was virtualy non-existant through out the match. Bagan missed the invaluable services of Venkatesh in the midfield today.
Long balls from Habibur, Odafe, James, Dharamjit kept feeding Bhutia and Barreto and one such long ball from Gaffari was met by Barreto, who headed the ball home.
Bagan still down 3-2.
After this what followed was a mere ill-luck and ill-refreeing. A ball from the left found Bhaichung in front of the goal with his marker. He back-heeled the ball past Subrata but he was pulled back for offside. As the replay showed, Bhaichung was in a on-side possition when the ball was passed nd was in line with the last defender when he scored.
Just when it seemed all is lost Lalam was set up beautifully by Bhaichung and after storming in, Lalam managed to hit the keeper on a one on one situation.
The entire second half was played in East Bengal's half and had the Bagan team been 100% fit and had the goalie been responsible enough, this should have been game, set and match for Bagan.
Team: Sangram, Odafe, Sanjeev, Rauf(Lalampuia), Habibur, Suman(Lalkamal), Gaffari, Dharamjit, James, Barreto, Bhaichung
Sangram: Hero turns to Villain.