A late goal from Petratos earns Mohun Bagan Super Giant a point against East Bengal in the Kolkata Derby
Ajay Chhetri gave the Red and Golds the lead in the 3rd minute while Armando Sadiku equalized in the 17th minute. Cleiton Silva scored through a penalty to restore East Bengal’s lead in the 55th minute before Petratos found the net through a late equalizer in the 87th minute.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant’s new coach Antonio Habas made four changes to the line-up that lost 0-1 to Kerala Blasters in their last ISL match. Anwar Ali and Brendan Hamill returned to the back four replacing Sumit Rathi and Asish Rai. Hugo Boumous and Jason Cummings were also missing from the starting line-up as Sahal Abdul Samad and Armando Sadiku replaced the duo.
East Bengal coach Carles Cuadrat made three changes to the side that played a goalless draw against Odisha in their last Super Cup encounter. Mohammed Rakip replaced Mandar Rao Dessai in the left-back position. Saul Crespo and Ajay Chhetri returned to the starting line-up replacing Borja Herrera and Souvik Chakraborty in the front.
The Red and Golds looked menacing with Naorem Mahesh Singh winning two fouls in the first two minutes of the game in the final third. Although East Bengal failed to make the most of the opportunities, the intent was clear.
The results finally showed in the 3rd minute when Ajay Chhetri found the net. Nareom surged through the left flank and made a pass towards Nishu Kumar who laid it off for Chhetri. The entire MBSG defense was caught napping as the youngster stuck his boot out to score a goal.
In the 7th minute, Lalchungnunga made a vital block for East Bengal after Sahal’s pass found Sadiku in the final third. The Albanian appealed for a penalty but it went in vain. The Mariners suffered a major blow in the 14th minute when Anwar Ali suffered a hamstring injury and had to be replaced by debutant Amandeep Vrish at the back.
However, Habas didn’t let the substitution affect the team’s morale as the Mariners pulled one goal back in the 17th minute. Brendan Hamill floated a cross from the right flank and Sadiku found himself at the end of it to level the proceedings.
Cuadrat brought out Saul Crespo for Sayan Banerjee in the 19th minute to inject fresh legs into the attack but it bore no fruits. In the 23rd minute, Sadiku took a right-footed shot from outside the box but Prabhsukhan Singh Gill saved the ball comfortably for East Bengal.
Mohun Bagan continued to be on the ascendancy throughout the first half but Jose Pardo’s towering presence in the midfield halted their attacks in the final third. Sahal dribbled past three players in the 37th minute but Sadiku made a meal of the final pass as he shot it over the net.
In the 40th minute, Kiyan Nassiri made a cross towards Deepak Tangri who set up Sadiku from close range but the Albanian’s final shot was off target. East Bengal created a meaningful attack after a long time in the 44th minute when Nishu Kumar made a cross from the left. Vishal Kaith made a vital interception to prevent Nandhakumar Sekar from nodding it in.
The half-time scoreline read 1-1 as both sides put their best foot forward. Habas made one substitution at the break as Manvir Singh replaced Kiyan Nassiri on the pitch.
Only 33 seconds after the restart of play, Petratos looked to punish the East Bengal defense for their lack of awareness. He poked a ball past the defenders but Gill made a regulation save to keep the scoreline intact.
In the 50th minute, Petratos made a darting run into the box but Lalchungnunga made a vital block to prevent any danger. East Bengal surged forward in the 53rd minute through Nandhakumar’s cross. Although no Red and Gold forward was able to reach the end of the ball, the referee pointed towards the spot as Deepak Tangri shoved Naorem in the buildup inside the box.
Cleiton Silva stepped up to take the penalty and scored with a cheeky panenka to give his side the lead. Mohun Bagan players started to lose their calm as Petratos slapped Sayan on his face in the 61st minute. Unfortunately, the referee was nowhere near the incident and didn’t brandish any card. A melee broke between the two sets of players with the referee separating them in the end.
In the 73rd minute, East Bengal tried to score an insurance goal with Cleiton Silva passing to substitute Vishnu who in turn laid the ball towards Nandha. However, substitute Edwin Vanspaul’s final shot sailed over the crossbar as the lead remained to only one goal.
Cuadrat’s men surged through a counter-attack after dispossessing Cummings in the final third in the 75th minute. The move ended with Pardo taking a shot from outside the box and Vishal Kaith replying with a reflex save.
East Bengal moved into a 5-4-1 formation for the last fifteen minutes with Nandhakumar Sekar being the only man forward as Cuadrat’s men tried to seal the match with a low block. Manvir Singh was looking threatening through the right flank but East Bengal outnumbered MBSG with the body count and kept the lead intact.
In the 87th minute, Manvir made another low pass into the box but Nandhakumar collected it cleanly. Sahal dispossessed his Nandhakumar but replays showed that he did so by getting his arms around the latter’s body and shoving him down. Sahal laid a square pass towards Petratos who blasted the ball into the roof of the net from close range to equalize the proceedings.
The referee added seven minutes of stoppage time but neither side was able to take the lead and points were shared in controversial fashion. With the draw, the Mariners stayed in the fifth spot with 20 points from 11 matches. East Bengal, on the other hand, are two places beneath them with 12 points from 11 matches.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant will take on bottom-placed Hyderabad on Saturday at home while East Bengal will travel to Guwahati to challenge NorthEast United in a bid to climb to the sixth spot earlier on the same day.