East Bengal yesterday won the 'Mohammedan Sporting Platinum Jubilee Cup' against archrivals Mohun Bagan in a thrilling finale at the Saltlake Stadium in Kolkata. Both teams had left out their foreigners and most of their regular players to give fringe players and youngsters the chance to gain experience from these two matches. And those who missed the derby would no curse themselves as the Saltlake Stadium was less then one-fourth filled.
The match had ended two-all after 90 minutes, three-all after 120 minutes and then East Bengal won the match 3-2 on penalties; an overall result of 6-5. A derby as the fans of the two big Maidan sides love it, only one went home happy, the other disappointed.
The match was an open game which both sides could have won. Seasoned Alvito D'Cunha led the young East Bengal squad from the front tough having played no matches so far. It was Alvito who opened the scoring for the red-and-gold, but goals from Satish Kumar Jr and Ashim Biswas turned the match in favour of Mohun Bagan, but Robin Singh would score for East Bengal to take the match into extra time. There once more Robin Singh would give East Bengal the lead with Harpreet Singh equalising to late the match into extra time.
And there young East Bengal keeper Jayanta Pal was the hero of the day. Jayanta was brought on only for the penalty shootout and he did not disappoint his coaches as he blocked shots from Souvik Chakraborty and Snehasish Chakraborty, while Gouranga Datta and East Bengal's Ravinder Singh couldn't score. In the end East Bengal 3-2 on penalties and the title.
Earlier on Friday in the semifinals of the 'Mohammedan Sporting Platinum Jubilee Cup' Mohun Bagan had beaten English non-league side Sheffield FC, while East Bengal beat the hosts Mohammedan Sporting. Both matches ended 1-0 and the goals came literary towards the end leaving the beaten sides no chance to react.
Mohun Bagan AC: Sangram Mukherjee; Kingshuk Debnath, Sangram Mandi (12' Rahul Kumar), Herpreet Singh, Biswajit Saha (106' Dipendu Dowary); Satish Kumar Jr, Souvik Chakraborty, Santosh Oraon, Snehasish Chakraborty; Jacken Sebastian (52' Gouranga Dutta), Ashim Biswas
East Bengal Club: Naseem Akhtar (117' Jayanta Pal); Saikat Saha Roy, Gurwinder Singh, Sunil Kumar, Ravinder Singh; Sanju Pradhan, Sushanth Mathew, Alvito D'Cunha, K Aseem (59' Biswajit Natta); Budiram Tudu (Bikash Narzary), Robin Singh
Referee: Barun Saha
Man of the Match: Robin Singh (East Bengal)
Man of the Tournament: Ashim Biswas (Mohun Bagan)