NFL 2000-01 dedicated to our Respected & Beloved PALTU DA.....Carlton Chapman
Republished: Monday, May21, 2012, Report By Indranil Bandyopadhay
Original Date of Upload: Thursday, 18th August 2011
EAST BENGAL 2 – 0 SBT
(Omoloja 43', 74')
On 30th April, 2001, East Bengal won the 5th National Football League (2000-01) defeating State Bank of Travancore 2-0 in their last league match at Thiruvantapuram. No hiccups for East Bengal in the final round. Needing to win against SBT in the final and 22nd round of the 5th NFL, the Red and Gold brigade just did that. Win 2-0 and that ensured they finished one point ahead of their arch rivals Mohun Bagan.
Perhaps, what struck a poignant note amidst the celebration was the absence of Sri. Deepak Kumar Das, the secretary of the club who had died last month. But then, Paltuda was not forgotten entirely by the players, who were quick to dedicate East Bengal's maiden triumph of the NFL title to the former's memory. Carlton Chapman, a senior player, breaking off from the ecstatic celebration, said, "this is something which we owe it to him,'' before the others joined and agreed with him.
That the EB side, faced a must-win situation to lift the title ahead of arch-rival Mohun Bagan, was sensed by nervousness which was evident in the earlier stages of the matches itself. But fortunately for the side, it's defence, led by the inspiring Jackson Agaypong, stood the test well and was keenly responsible for the final outcome. For the timely interceptions made by Jackson and the crafty manner through which he shadowed the dangerous Asif Saheer, East Bengal would have been in arrears early in the match. For, it was SBT, Shabir Ali and K.R. Ajayan with a fine display probed their way past the middle and kept feeding their frontline trio of Saheer, Ignatius and Abdul Noushad time and again.
However, the East Bengal defence was successful in warding off the mounting danger, as Ranjan Dey, Suley Musah and Falguni Dutta toiled hard in tandem with their Ghanian colleague, Jackson. Yet, Saheer had one close look at the East Bengal goal off a Shabir Ali pass before he sent the ball flying over and midfielder Lanel Thomas did stretch rival custodian Sangram Mukherjee with a first-time shot from away, to create panic among the Kolkata team supporters.
Omoloja's first goal of the day came moments after the long- ranger produced by Lanel and was mostly the result of the bad judgement displayed by the SBT goalkeeper, Feroz Sherief, who instead of remaining behind went out to meet a high ball and did leave his guard open for the Nigerian to net the ball home. The crucial move behind this goal came from Dipendu Biswas in the middle and though his high lob was hooked by SBT defender, Vinu Jose, the clearance was not effective to the extent of removing the danger once in for all.
Though it went into the lead East Bengal attack once again preferred to lay back even after the restart. SBT seemed to capitalise on this very well and did look dangerous and capable to cancel out the arrears as it continued to pile up pressure on the East Bengal defence. But here again, it's efforts were to end up in vain as neither V.P. Shaji, who was substituted in place of Ignatius, nor Saheer could find their way past Jackson and his colleagues.
The ball remained centered mostly on the East Bengal half, as SBT sought repeatedly to equalise, but a fast counter initiated through the right and Omoloja's second goal was soon to extinguish all hopes of the local side to stay behind in the NFL. This goal from Omoloja came off a fine defence-splitting pass by Isiaka Awoyemi and once he was through with possession, the former had little difficulty to put the ball beyond the reach of an advancing Sherief.
SBT had one good opportunity thereafter, as V.P. Shaji tested Sangaram from close range and Noushad took a second attempt from the resultant rebound. The match, following this, was good as over as East Bengal sensibly held possession and played out the time. The Red n Gold powerhouse got past a fighting State Bank of Travancore, with the help of a brace from Omolaja Olalekah, and pocketed Rs. 40 lakhs.
East Bengal : Sangram, Falguni, Musah, Jackson, Ranjan, Chapman, Amit, Tushar, Dipendu, Bijen(C), Omoloja.
Sub: Nasim, Surkumar, Deepak, Anit, Isiaka, Dipankar, Srikanta.
Sat May 25 2013
Thu May 23 2013
Thu May 23 2013
Wed May 22 2013