Mohun Bagan win league, post-match violence leaves six injuredSeptember 12th, 2008 - 9:45 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Sep 12 (IANS) Mohun Bagan claimed the IFA-Sahara Calcutta Premier League title after a 1-1 draw with arch-rivals East Bengal here Friday. Post-match violence left six people injured.Mohun Bagan went ahead through a 23rd minute penalty which was converted by ace Brazilian striker Jose Barreto. Edmilson Marques restored parity seven minutes before the final whistle at the Salt Lake stadium.
Mohun Bagan finished their engagements with 31 points from 14 matches, to go beyond the reach of closest challengers Mohammedan Sporting (27 from 13 games). Sporting take on Chirag United in their concluding tie Saturday.
East Bengal were third, managing 25 points from 15 outings.
The match saw frayed tempers from both sides, with as many as 34 fouls committed in the lacklustre encounter.
East Bengal started off well, putting the Bagan citadel under pressure for the first 15 minutes, but failed to retain the momentum.
Bagan shot into the lead when East Bengal’s Nirmal Chhetri brought down a dangerously advancing Shylo Malswamtluanga inside the box and the referee had no hesitation in awarding the spot kick to Bagan. Barreto made no mistake in netting the penalty.
Syed Rahim Nabi, who had earlier brought his team East Bengal’s supporters on their feet in expectation when he sent a measured ball into the box from the left only to find Sunil Chetri failing to connect, left the ground midway into the first session with an injury which depleted his side.
In his attempt to effect an aerial clearance, S James Singh kicked Nabi on the jaw with full force, earning an yellow card, while Nabi was stretchered out after the doctors bandaged his jaw.
Towards the end of the opening session, Bagan came close to scoring again, with Barreto finding himself in the clear, but Nirmal Chhetri prevented his side’s collapse with a last-minute tackle.
The second session was more sedentary, till Edmilson brought life back with a world class goal from a free kick taken from 25 yards.
The rasping right footer entered a corner of the net giving no chance to Bagan goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee as the two sides came to an even keel.
With Bagan needing a draw to win the league, their supporters were on the edge, as an inspired East Bengal mounted several raids. But the Bagan defence held firm. As the referee blew the final whistle, Bagan supporters burst crackers, hugging and smearing each other in green and maroon powder - the colours of their club’s jersey.
But things turned untoward a few minutes later, as the supporters of the two clubs had verbal duels before starting to pelt stones and water bottles at each other.
The police, initially outnumbered, got in reinforcements and chased the fans with batons to bring the situation under control but not before six fans were injured.