Ill-tempered Kolkata derby ends in a 1-1 draw

Kolkata, Feb 6 (PTI) The eagerly-awaited clash betweenEast Bengal and Mohun Bagan ended in a 1-1 draw at thenear-packed Yuba Bharati Krirangan here this evening.

Today, the encounter was marred by widespread clashesthat broke out in the stands and missles were fired as refereeflashed two red cards and eight yellow cards.

East Bengal went ahead in the 10th minute when SanjuPradhan converted a penalty, but Jose Ramirez Barreto headedhome beautifully in the 29th minute to bring the match on aneven keel as both teams were locked 1-1 at half-time.

If both the teams showed spirited fight in thefirst-half, the second half turned ugly as Bagan resorted toclashes while East Bengal too retaliated.

East Bengal were reduced to 10 men after Gurwinder Singhpicked his second yellow in the 70th minute.

Mohun Bagan were also reduced to 10 players in the 90+3rdminute when Ashim Biswas stamped on Mehtab Hussain thatprovoked East Bengal coach Trevor James Morgan to cross thewhite line and join in the clash in a fit of rage as theseries of ugly clashes stretched the second-half by more than11 minutes.

Having already scripted three wins against their bitterrival this season, East Bengal got a superb start, even asMohun Bagan under technical director Subhas Bhowmick did notseem bogged down in the high-voltage clash.

Surkumar Singh''s hand ball inside the box proved costlyfor Mohun Bagan who conceded a 10th minute goal after Sanjueasily converted from the penalty.

But the full strength Mohun Bagan, studded with nationalplayers Surkumar, Deepak Mondal, Anwar Ali, N Mohan Raj andRakesh Masih, put East Bengal under pressure early on.

In the fourth minute, East Bengal custodian Sandip Nandythwarted a nice attempt by Surkumar as the table leaders had alucky escape early on.

In the absence of suspended Robin Singh, East Bengal''sin-form forward line-up found it difficult to settle down.

East Bengal''s leading goal scorer Tolgay Ozbey wasimpressive, but the Australian star striker did not findenough assistance from Sushil Singh who was brought in placeof Robin.

Ozbey brilliantly set it up in the sixth minute, butSushil failed to utilise the ball as East Bengal had to waitfor to take the lead.

In an eighth-minute move, a surging Ozbey crossed it forSushil from the right, but to Mohun Bagan''s agony it foundSurkumar''s hand inside the box as referee Pratap Singh did nothave any hesitation awarding the penalty in favour of EastBengal. MORE PTI TAP MD KHS

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