The almost 100 years age-old rivalry between East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan is set to witness another new chapter as the teams lock horns in ISL’s first ever Kolkata derby tonight.
Indian football heavyweights East Bengal and Mohun Bagan gained entry into the ISL 2020 with respective mergers with Shree Cement and ATK Football club. As we get ready for tonight’s historic clash, let’s take a stroll down the memory lane and revisit the Top 5 encounters between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan.
1. September 30, 1975 – IFA Shield final
East Bengal 5 bt Mohun Bagan 0: This is the biggest margin of win and gives an East Bengal fan the bragging rights over the Bagan fans. This victory is considered the pinnacle of East Bengal’s reign in the 70s – from 1970 to 1975 – where it claimed six consecutive Calcutta Football League titles before creating the record margin of win in the Shield final.
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2. July 13, 1997 – Calcutta Football League
East Bengal 4 bt Mohun Bagan 1: The match marked the vanquishing of the wildly hyped ‘Diamond System’ advocated by Mohun Bagan coach Amal Dutta. Baichung Bhutia became the icon of East Bengal fans after he scored the first hat-trick of the Derby. It helped coach P.K. Banerjee prove that his celebrated ‘Vocal Tonic” was more effective than Dutta’s imported incorporation of the ‘MU formation’ which was popular in Europe in the 50s.
3. March 22, 2000 – National Football League
East Bengal 3 bt Mohun Bagan 1: Mohun Bagan won the National Football League (the precursor of I-League) this season but East Bengal came from nowhere to spoil Bagan’s party with the upset win. Falguni Dutta scored twice while Ghanian Jackson Agyapong added one to overwhelm Bagan, which was the outright favourite. Brazilian star Jose Bareto provided the lone reply for Mogun Bagan, which saw its fans burning flags and the club’s emblem in disgust.
4. August 17, 2007 – Calcutta Football League
Mohun Bagan 4 bt East Bengal 3: It was one of the most keenly contested matches. With Subrata Bhattacharya, the Mohun Bagan defender who never switched allegiance as a player, making his East Bengal debut as a coach, this match was discussed for a long time after it was over. Mohun Bagan looked an outright winner with a 4-1 (S. Venkatesh 2, Lalawmpuia 1 and Jose Barreto 1 for Bagan and Alvito D’Cunha 1 for EB) lead in second half. But East Bengal pulled off two quick goals in the second half (through Alvito and Edmilson) making it 4-3 and almost got the equaliser but for its striker Dipendu Biswas who missed a sitter towards the end of the action.
5. October 25, 2009 – I-League
Mohun Bagan 5 beatt East Bengal 3: Mohun Bagan matched East Bengal’s five goals to partially erase the ignominy of suffering the rout in 1975. While Mohun Bagan succeeded in scoring five against East Bengal, it could not keep a clean sheet as East Bengal pulled three goals back.