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Hero I-league is trying to promote their league teams after AIFF surprised decision came to continue with India’s top division football. They are much dependent on local derbies to promote the I-league team, and India’s oldest football derby Mohan Bagan vs East Bengal is the only promised derby who fit in the role. There were too much hype created around Kolkata derby, but it failed to live up to the expectation. In Siliguri, at Kanchenjunga Stadium, both teams gave a disappointing offensive performance as they failed to score a single goal, and it ended 0-0.

Fans tries their best to create a derby atmosphere in stands, bringing in colored flags and shouting for their teams cheering, but on the pitch players didn’t shine. There were only two outstanding performers of the day, and both of them were guarding the nets for their respective teams. East Bengal goalkeeper TP Rehenesh – also man of the match, and Mohan Bagan goalkeeper Debjit Mazumder steals the show with their terrifying saves.

The derby result may not have impressed the fans, but in the end both teams must be satisfied with the results. East Bengal stays at top with their 20 points from 8 matches, whereas Mohan Bagan pushes their place at 2nd, with 17 points from 7 matches.

Bagan had the first opportunity in the 14th minute of the game from Sony Norde cross to Pritam Kota, but TP Rehenesh diving effort towards his left denied  Atletico de Kolkata defender effort. Rehenesh opposite no. Mazumder quickly came into action in 23rd minute with a perfect reply diving towards his right to deny Willis Deon Plaza effort for East Bengal.

It was a tense affair, leaving the result aside. Mohan Bagan had the golden opportunity in 35th minute from a Sony Norde corner, but Bagan cental defender Eduardo Ferreira failed to capitalise with easy tap in,when Rehenesh was found out of position to stop. On the other end, Plaza shown his genius skipping past three East Bengal defenders, but he kept the ball to himself a bit long, and Eduardo made the tackle to deny him.

East Bengal started 2nd half brilliantly, but it was Debjit time to shine at his own net. His acrobatic stuff denied Plaza a golden opportunity to score as he did everything right to turn it into a chance from Robin Singh back header. Bagan had the couple of chances in quick succession from the corner, but all effort goes begging.

Mohan Bagan’s second-half substitution Balwant Singh created a tap in opportunity for Duffy in injury time, but thanks to Bukenya effort to read the pass and managing a foot in, the game ended 0-0. Kolkata derby produces everything to create a perfect atmosphere, and it wouldn’t have failed to live up to the expectation, if there would have been some goal delight.


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