Dominant First Half Display Propels Mohun Bagan to Victory 3-1 in Kolkata Derby

In the highly anticipated Kolkata derby of the Indian Super League (ISL), Mohun Bagan’s electrifying first-half performance stole the show, leaving East Bengal struggling to keep up.

The 3-1 victory not only secured Mohun Bagan‘s top spot in the league with 36 points but also secured their spot in the playoffs.

Dominant First Half Display Propels Mohun Bagan to Victory 3-1 in Kolkata Derby

After the break, goals from Cummings, Colaco, and Petratos stifle East Bengal’s comeback.

It was impossible to criticize the stadium emcee’s efforts. However, the enthusiasm of the Mohun Bagan Super Giant supporters during the half overshadowed his encouragement to start the East Bengal chant, causing jeers to rise throughout Salt Lake Stadium. The East Bengal team’s performance in the first half of Sunday night’s Indian Super League (ISL) Kolkata derby was one of outsmarting, outshouting, and, of course, outscoring.

Following a 3-1 victory, Mohun Bagan, along with Odisha FC and Mumbai City FC, who have played one more match, advanced to the play-offs after 17 games with 36 points, which is double what East Bengal had.

Saul Crespo’s volley, which was the greatest goal of the evening for Mohun Bagan, came after he chested and covered Cleiton Silva’s cross from Subhasish Bose. Jason Cummings (27th), Liston Colaco (37) and Dimitri Petratos (45+3) scored for Mohun Bagan. As unbelievable as it sounds, Nandhakumar Sekar’s ball to Silva might have changed the outcome of the game for East Bengal.

This meant that the score remained the same and that East Bengal’s Brazilian forward, their totem, was unable to pull it down. It might have in the 63rd, but Silva’s quick header off a Sekar cue forced Vishal Kaith to make an incredible reflex stop.

Kaith was a key player in a game when Mohun Bagan’s front line dominated with deft passes, positional switching, and Petratos’s lurking presence.

The only attempt on goal for East Bengal in the first half and the penalty he stopped off Silva in the thirteenth minute might have given the red-and-gold brigade a better opportunity of breaking into the top six. Yes, it was a horrible penalty, but what better way to exact revenge for Silva’s poor challenge that gave rise to the penalty?

Coach Antonio Lopez Habas of Mohun Bagan was booked after becoming enraged and apoplectic with referee Tejas Nagvenkar for calling the penalty. He might have argued that Mahesh Naorem had fouled Colaco earlier in the play. Carles Cuadrat, the coach of East Bengal, has been debating it; the play that resulted in Petratos’ late equalizer in the first derby is one example. East Bengal had been lucky this time, but not by much to overtake them.

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Mohun Bagan achieved that with the aid of Cummings’ tap-in. Cummings, who is a member of Australia’s 2022 World Cup team, has eight goals in the ISL10, the majority of which demonstrate his ability to be in the right position at the right time. Cummings had a fantastic performance as the Central Coast Mariners won the 2022–23 A-League. Displaying the kind of striker’s instinct that pays his bills, the man with the vintage hairstyle scored after Prabhsukhan Gill parried a shot from Petratos into his path.

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Igor Stimac, the head coach of India, would have witnessed this in the stadium. Sahal Abdul Samad would be a threat in front of others and pursue unfinished business for Mohun Bagan. Additionally, Stimac would have been seeing Lalchungnunga, who was utilized as a right-back, watch as Petratos, the player of the match, scored a goal with his right foot after his left had rebounded off the upright. Colaco would have had a difficult time recalling an easier ISL goal.

Within ten minutes, East Bengal had lost the match. At the first water break, however, Mohun Bagan supporters, who numbered more than the nearly 60,000 in the stadium, had seen it coming. The amphitheater at the water break was noticeably darker on the other side when mobile torches illuminated half of it. Petratos then converted a penalty. Gill, who has been playing well this term, received a hand, but the shot was too strong.

That occurred when East Bengal attempted to play until halftime without making any changes after Lalchungnunga got hurt. Thus, Sekar, who had entered the game in the midst of the three-man frontline, was designated as the stand-in right-back. With a careless challenge, he brought down Colaco, and to celebrate his eighth goal of the year, Petratos celebrated by slapping his left thigh and rolling his shoulders.

Given that they were behind 0–3 at the break, East Bengal might have attempted to limit the harm. They did just the reverse, coming out of the tunnel first. Gill initially stopped Cummings, but after that, Mohun Bagan gave up and it was all East Bengal. Deep into stoppage time, Abhishek Suryavanshi tripped PV Vishnu, and East Bengal ought to have been given a penalty. Rather, Cuadrat was booked for storming into the night, while Vishnu was booked for simulation.

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