With the Kolkata Derby around the corner, Goal lists 10 points about the match that one should know…
As the first-ever Kolkata in the Indian Super League (ISL) is upon us, we take a look at some of the interesting facts about the marquee clash of Indian football.
The arch-rivals met for the first time in 1925 and East Bengal had won the fixture 1-0. Nepal Chakraborty walked into the history books by scoring the only goal. Mona Dutta captained the victorious East Bengal side.
Centenary, bicentenary and tricentenary derbies
The 100th Kolkata derby was played 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.
Biggest margin of victory
The highest margin of win in the Kolkata derby is the famous 5-0 victory of East Bengal on 30th September 1975 in the IFA Shield final. Shyam Thapa (2), Ranjit Mukherjee, Surajit Sengupta and Subhankar Sanyal were the scorers for East Bengal and Ashok Banerjee was the skipper of the Red and Golds.
Umakanto Palodhi, a Mohun Bagan supporter committed suicide after the 0-5 loss in 1975. His suicide note read – “In my next birth, I will take the revenge by becoming a Mohun Bagan footballer.”
A fatal pandemonium occurred in the derby on 16th August 1980 taking a toll of 16 young lives. This marks the darkest day of Indian football. As the referee gave Dilip Palit and Bidesh Basu the marching orders in the second half, the gallery burst into agitation. A stampede at the Eden Gardens resulted in the disaster.
1,31,000 strong Salt Lake Stadium
The Federation Cup 1997 semifinal witnessed the madness of the city reach its all-time high as 1,31,000 supporters came to the Salt Lake stadium to watch the derby. East Bengal won the match 4-1 with Bhaichung Bhutia scoring a hat-trick, while Najimul Haque had scored the other goal. Chima Okorie scored the consolation goal for the Green and Maroons.
First foreigner to score a derby hat-trick
Nigerian forward Chidi Edeh was the first-ever foreign player to score a hat-trick in the Kolkata derby. The striker also holds the record of scoring the maximum number of goals in a single match. He had scored four goals as Bagan registered a 5-3 win over their rivals in an I-League clash on 25th October 2009. 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 obviously is the highest number of goals for one side by a player.
Only four players – Goutam Sarkar, Prasanta Banerjee, Dulal Biswas and Renedy Singh – have captained both the sides in a Kolkata derby. An interesting similarity is that all four had been the captain of the East Bengal side first and then went on to lead the Bagan side later in their career. Interestingly Renedy Singh will be in East Bengal on November 27 as an assistant coach to Robbie Fowler.
Head to head record in NFL/I-League
The two teams have faced each other 45 times in the National Football League and I-League combined. East Bengal have won 17 of them, while Mohun Bagan have snatched the bragging rights in 15 games. 13 matches ended in a tie. The last time these two rivals clashed was January 19, 2020, where Mohun Bagan emerged victorious 2-1. Joseba Beitia and Baba Diawara scored for the Mariners while Marcos De La Espada scored for the Red and Golds.