A crowd of seventy thousand at the Salt Lake Stadium witnessed nothing less than a Hollywood movie as Mohun Bagan, after being one goal down till the 71st minute came back to wrest East Bengal and snatched three points from the Derby clash and thus moving to 16 points from 7 matches at the end of the 1st leg! Mohun Bagan defeated East Bengal for the 7th time in a row in the Kolkata Football League and the million mariners are more than grateful to Bagan hero, Lalawmpuia.
The match started off with both the teams trying to shoulder each other in the middle to get a head start. Mohun Bagan came close to scoring through Barreto once, but failed to open their account! On the other side, Edmilson let fly a pile driver and Sangram was equally up to the task as the Bagan captain, arms stretched wide denied Edmilson. From one of the corners, however, Alvito took an inswinging shot which Sangram had to dive backwards and save off the goal line. Sangram looked dauntless under the Bagan bar, but on the 18th minute East Bengal drew the first blood.
Mohunraj, let in a silly slide, which Nirmal Chettri evaded easily and from his cross, Alvito scored a gymnastic goal. The goal certainly demands credit and thus Bagan went 1 goal down.
Through out the half, Bagan tried to open their scoring sheet, but both Lalawmpuia and Barreto seemed off colour, both getting minimal support from the half line. Rakesh Mashi, however, did not fail to impress. Taking into account his first match for Mohun Bagan, and that too in the Kolkata derby, he made his pressence felt in the midfield as a blocker.
The half time whistle blew and Bagan were still one goal down. When the second half resumed, East Bengal players were busy taking turns to roll on the ground feigning injuries and thus earning fouls and buying valueable time. Mohun Bagan tried to keep the tempo up and incidents like, when Lalawm and East Bengal players got involved in a scuffle did not help much.
As the half rolled, Karim brought in Lalkamal in place of James Singh. It seemed as if Lalkamal had the script of the derby up his sleeve. On the 72 minute, Bagan earned a corner which Lalkamal took from the left. The ball found a rising Lalawmpuia, whose header inched past the East Bengal goalie, into the goal and much to relief of the 50 thousand Mariners present at the stadium and the millions watching it on the Television screen!Bagan tried to keep the pressure up, but East Bengal's midfield outweighed Bagan's. East Bengal came close on a few ocassions, but it was as if destiny and Sangram prevented them. Sangram made a number of magical saves to keep Bagan in the game.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man! 83rd minute on the clock, Bagan again earned a corner! Lalkamal's swerving corner at goal-mouth, the ball ballooned across the face of the goal after being scooped up by Barreto, and Lalawpuia, rose up and took a half bicycle nudge into the goal, all the time being pushed by Musah, really a tribute to Lalawmpuia's fitness.Bagan go ahead 2-1, in the 83rd minute and half of the stadium errupts in deafening scream, while the other half, resounds a deafening silence...Bagan just keep squishing East Bengal, again and again, 7th time in CFL...In the last 7 minutes, and the 4 mins that were added on, Mohun Bagan and East bengal both tried their best to net, but Sangram stood tall under the Bagan bar, and the referee did his best to pull back Mohun Bagan from the East Bengal half! However, the match ended 2-1 in Mohun Bagan's favour. With this win, Mohun Bagan defeats East Bengal for the 6th time in a row in Kolkata, and 7th time consecutively in the CFL, and they continued their undefeated streak for 8 matches in the CFL Derby from 2004. Mohun Bagan are on 16 points, and Lalwmpuia is the leading goalscorer in the CFL thus far with 6 goals. Team: Sangram, Odafe, Vasan, Mohunraj, Habibur, Lalramluaha, Rakesh, Mama, James, Barreto, Lalawpuia