For at least half of the 80,000 crowd it didn’t matter that East Bengal had dislodged Mohun Bagan from the top of the second I-League table. What did was that their team had finally managed to get the monkey of its back.
For five days less than two years, East Bengal hadn’t beaten Mohun Bagan at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan. On Sunday as the teams squared up for the last time this season, they did that emphatically. God knows when Bhaichung Bhutia last lost a derby 0-3. Two headers Syed Rahim Nabi would love retelling his grandchildren, two deliveries from Renedy Singh that will be talked about for some time, a clinical three-pass move that made fun of Mohun Bagan’s best defensive record in the League and the return of Subhas Bhowmick made it possible. With him, lit paper torches made a comeback to Kolkata.
Meanwhile, Sporting Clube de Goa celebrated Carnival in grand fashion as they regained the lead at the top. The Goan outfit uncorked champagne stuff to record a deserving 2-1 win against Mumbai FC in a 16th round I-League match at the Cooperage ground.
Results: EB 3 (Nabi 22nd, 40; Sunil 47) bt MB 0; Mum FC 1 (Alex Ambrose 81st - pen) lost to Sporting Clube de Goa 2 (Joseph Pereira 7th, Wilton Gomes 76th).