Indian Premier League ended lately, however different sports continue to be played in empty stadiums. Indian Super League (ISL) has brought some new talents. The league has grown significantly and is also contributing to the growth of Indian football. Well, Since a huge number of Indians watch European football. There are matches that you can’t miss even if you are super busy. Derby Matches between Manchester United and Manchester City or Liverpool vs Everton are some great Derby matches to look out for. Football is not a new concept in India. Great Derby is coming your way in the ISL. Here are ten significant events that have a huge importance in the history of the Kolkata Derby.
Head to Head record in NFL/I-League
The two arch-rivals have faced each other 45 times in the National Football League and I-League when combined. East Bengal has won 17 of them, while Mohun Bagan has snatched the bragging rights in 15 games. 13 matches ended in a tie. In their last clash on January 19, 2020, where Mohun Bagan came out victorious 2-1. Joseba Beitia and Baba Diawara scored for the Mariners while Marcos De La Espada scored for the Red and Golds.
Only four players – Goutam Sarkar, Prasanta Banerjee, Dulal Biswas and Renedy Singh – have led both the sides in a Kolkata derby. A fascinating similarity is that all of them had been the captain of the East Bengal side first and later led Bagan. Renedy Singh has become assistant to Robbie Fowler who is the Head coach of East Bengal.
The first foreigner to score a derby hat-trick
Nigerian footballers have earned their stripes by performing exceptionally well in football around the world. Nigerian forward Chidi Edeh was one of them. He was the first-ever foreign player to score a hat-trick in the Kolkata derby. The Bagan striker also holds the record of scoring the maximum number of goals in a match. on 25th October 2009. He had scored four goals as Bagan registered a 5-3 win over their rivals in an I- League clash Manish Maithani scored the other goal.
Most derby goals by a player
Indian football legend Bhaichung Bhutia has scored the maximum number of goals, 19, in the history of Kolkata derby. Among his 19 goals, 13 are for East Bengal, while the other six are for Mohun Bagan. Jose Ramirez Barreto comes second with 17 goals, all scored for the Mariners, which is the highest number of goals for one side by a player.
1,31,000 strong Salt Lake Stadium
In 1997, The Federation Cup semifinal witnessed the madness of football fans. A staggering number 1,31,000 of fans gathered to witness the Derby at the Salt Lake stadium. East Bengal won the match 4-1 with Bhaichung Bhutia scoring a hat-trick, while Najimul Haque had scored the other goal for Bengal. The consolation goal was scored by Chima Okorie for the Mariners.
In the early 80s, football stadiums around the world were not as safe as today. on 16th August 1980, 16 young lives were lost due to stampede. This marks the darkest day of Indian football. The incident said to occur when the referee gave a marching order to Dilip Palit and Bidesh Basu in the second half.
Some fans are so passionate that they can’t tolerate a heavy defeat by the hands of the other team. Unfortunately, Umakanto Palodhi, a Mohun Bagan supporter committed suicide after the 0-5 loss in 1975. before taking his life he wrote a note which read “In my next birth, I will take the revenge by becoming a Mohun Bagan footballer.”
Biggest margin of victory
On 30th September 1975 was the IFA Shield final. East Bengal defeated 5-0. the loss is still fresh in minds of fans, who witnessed it. Shyam Thapa (2), Ranjit Mukherjee, Surajit Sengupta and Subhankar Sanyal were the scorers for East Bengal.
The year 1925 first saw the clash of the Titans. East Bengal won became victorious by a goal (1-0). Nepal Chakraborty walked into the history books by scoring the only goal. Mona Dutta was the skipper of victorious East Bengal side.
Centenary, bicentenary and tricentenary derbies
Both teams have some memorable memories. The Derby matches holds a special mention when they met for the 100th on December 16, 1967, in the Rovers Cup final where East Bengal defeated Mohun Bagan 2-0. The 200th match between them was an Airlines Cup final in April 1993, in which Bagan again won 6-5, courtesy of a tie-breaker. The 300th meeting between the two sides was in a championship-leg encounter of the Calcutta Football League’s premier division held on January 8, 2012. Nigerian Odafa Okolie and Manish Bhargav scored as the Mariners sealed the game 2-0.