Simply in terms of goals, the Sunday night extravaganza between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal couldn’t have been more delightful for the 90,000 crowd at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan. This despite Bhaichung Bhutia not playing with a calf muscle injury.
Nigerian import Edeh Chidi pumping in four in a victory that also marked the first time Mohun Bagan scored five goals against their archrivals.
This was also the first time in the 84-year-old history of the Kolkata Derby that a player scored four goals.
“I knew when I missed so many goals in the Kolkata league match on Wednesday (against Kalighat Club) that I would score today. That’s how it is always been with me. I had no idea of Mohun Bagan having once lost 0-5 to East Bengal (in the 1975 IFA Shield final) and neither did I know no one has scored four goals in a derby before. I know I never have. I am overwhelmed,” Chidi, 24 year old, said.
“I should resign taking full responsibility for this,” East Bengal coach Subhas Bhowmick said without specifying whether he would.
That the scoreline read 3-3 at halftime was indication enough that all wasn’t well with the respective defences.
East Bengal started early, via another set-piece, so reminiscent of the February 22 derby.
Renedy Singh’s flight was right on their fourth corner-kick and Nirmal Chhetri exploited paralysis at the Mohun Bagan backline by heading home.
For the equaliser, credit must go to a brilliant Surkumar Singh run and his presence of mind to feed Chidi with a hook-back.
Mohun Bagan led when Manish Mahtani compensated for Chidi’s miss as he slotted home off a feeble clearance.
Jose Barreto thrived on moments of brilliance. Barreto unleashed a chip from the right to the unmarked Chidi who finally ended the wait for the third goal. East Bengal struck back soon.
Miscommunication on the part of Shilton Paul and Surkumar saw East Bengal pulling back one through Yusif Yakubu.
srecko Mitrovic then got the third with a header, off a Renedy free-kick.
Paul was supplanted at the interval by veteran Sangram Mukherjee.
Chidi struck immediately on resumption slotting home a James Singh pass headed square after East Bengal centre-back Mehrajuddin Wadoo messed up.
A header off Marcos Perreira’s corner-kick made Mohun Bagan’s Sunday.
“That the points came against EB adds to the satisfaction,” Bagan coach Karim Bencherifa said.