Debjit Majumder stars as McDowell’s Mohun Bagan prevail in the Kolkata Derby

McDowell’s Mohun Bagan claimed the local bragging rights after they edged out arch rivals Kingfisher East Bengal 1-0 in the Kolkata Derby in the Hero I-League at the iconic Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on 28th March 2015.

Debjit Majumder was the hero for Mohun Bagan whose emphatic display between the sticks ensured Balwant Singh’s second half opener was enough to seal the victory for the Mariners.

The derby took a while to take off as chances were at a premium in the opening exchanges at the Salt Lake Stadium. The first opening of the game fell to Mohun Bagan’s Yusa katsumi who fired over after latching on to a loose clearance in the 6th minute.

East Bengal had the better of the game in terms of possession early on but Mohun Bagan always looked a threat going forward as Soni Norde earned a free kick for the Mariners in a promising position in the 17th minute. The free kick was over hit by Soni Norde allowing East Bengal to escape unscathed.

East Bengal’s attacking duo Ranti Martins and Dudu Omagbemi were proving a handful for the Mohun Bagan defence as the Lal Holud racked up the corner count.

But it was Mohun Bagan who were nearly gifted the first goal in the 26th minute, when the East Bengal goalkeeper delayed his clearance allowing Boya to get a foot to it. Fortunately for the East Bengal shot stopper, the ball went out for a goal kick, but it easily could have sneaked into the back of the net.

As the game went past the half hour mark, it was the Debjit Majumder show when he did superbly well to dive low to his right to deny Dudu’s pile driver of an effort in the 34th minute after the East Bengal striker’s run was able to latch on to a Lalrindika Ralte long ball.

Debjit was on his toes yet again four minutes later, when Dudu Omagbemi and Ranti Martins combined brilliantly to allow Dudu fire at the Mohun Bagan goal only to be denied by Debjit Majumder who parried it away.

Dudu Omagbemi was creating havoc in the Mohun Bagan defense who were all over the place, allowing Lalrindika Ralte to profit from a messed up clearance to fire powerful goal bound shot in the 41st minute, which was brilliantly palmed away by Debjit Majumder again who had an inspired afternoon.

East Bengal had a great chance to take the lead in first half stoppage time when Ranti Martins found himself in a great position in front of goal after he was on the end of Dudu’s flick, only to fire wide.

Despite a stunning performance by the East Bengal attacking duo, they went into the interval at 0-0 thanks to some superb goalkeeping from Debjit Majumder and some poor finishing from the Red & Golden army.

East Bengal left from where they started in the first half as Dudu and ranti Martins combined to set up Lalrindika Ralte who shot straight to Debjit Majumder just two minutes after the restart.

But it was McDowell’s Mohun Bagan who took the lead against the run of play when Yusa Katsumi eased his way past Robert to fire a shot which was parried by Subhashish Roy Choudhary in the path of Balwant Singh who coolly slotted the rebound home to send the Mohun Bagan fans in delirium just a minute later.

The goal settled the Mohun Bagan nerves and they started to breathe more freely. The defence started looking more solid as East Bengal recovered from going a goal down in the Kolkata Derby.

East Bengal made a change in the 58th minute as C.Lobo replaced Lalrindika Ralte and the substitute almost made the perfect impact when he very nearly got a cross in the box into his stride two minutes later.

Balwant Singh was extremely close to doubling Mohun Bagan’s lead when his looping effort in the 74th minute wasn’t far away from dipping in.

Sukhen Day saved the day and certainly two points for Mohun Bagan when he made a timely intervention to deny Ranti Martins who was all set to pounce on Mohammed Rafique’s flick from a Robert cross in the 89th minute.

East Bengal missed a golden opportunity to salvage a draw when Mohammed Rafique failed to head home after he was unmarked in the box before he headed Mehtab free kick wide from six yards.

East Bengal were made to pay for that costly miss as the referee blew for full time as McDowell’s Mohun Bagan celebrated a victory over their arch rivals in what was arguably their game of the season.

Kingfisher East Bengal were made to rue their missed chances as Debjit Majumder’s heroics meant they surrendered the bragging rights to their cross town rivals.

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