Mohun Bagan prevail 2-1 over East Bengal in emotional derby


Sports, Football

Iconic club consolidates its place atop I League with victory against arch-rivals

It was a match marked by festivity and emotion.

Kolkata: Set to join the Indian Super League bandwagon from the next season, Mohun Bagan prevailed 2-1 against arch-rivals East Bengal in an emotional I-League derby here on Sunday.

Joseba Beitia (18th) and Baba Dawara (65th) struck on either side of the break as Mohun Bagan put up a solid display both in attack and defence to grab three points, consolidating their position atop the table.

They now have 17 points from eight matches, six clear of second-placed Punjab FC.

A lacklustre East Bengal reduced the margin through Marcos Jimenez (72nd). They were unlucky when Juan Mera's 30-yard shot bounced off the crossbar as they suffered their third defeat in a row. They have eight points from seven matches.

With Mohun Bagan announcing their merger with two-time ISL champions ATK, this was the penultimate derby in the I-League era.

And Mohun Bagan made it special, winning their first derby since January 21, 2018 -- a 2-0 win in the I-League. Since then Mohun Bagan failed to win in four matches, including two in the I-League.

There was a massive turnout with 63,756 fans attending the match.

Crowds poured in hours before the start, holding placards and chanting team slogans, giving a festive atmosphere to the iconic venue which will host the final I-league derby on March 15.