I.F.A. Shield Final, 29th September 1975 East Bengal Lion's 5 – 0 Mohun Bagan Tiger's
Report by Arijit Dasgupta
Photo Courtesy: Anandabazar Patrika
1970 is considered as the Golden decade of East Bengal as we won all the trophies in India in this decade as well as we beat all the teams we faced, be it an Indian opponent or a foreign one. There were events like I.F.A. Shield final victory over Pass Club and Piong Yong City, but what the Red & Gold family considers the greatest achievement is the 5-0 thrashing of arch rivals Mohun Bagan in the MB Ground on 29th September afternoon.
The excitement reached an all time high then following the fact that East Bengal was on the verge of breaking MB’s record of 3 consecutive Shield victory. This match had another importance too, since I.F.A. announced that the earning fro tickets would go to the funds for “Bidhan Sishu Udyan”. Since the match was scheduled in Mohun Bagan ground, the capacity was almost half that of Eden Gardens, the usual venue for Derby then. The demand was sky high in spite of the fact that the value of ticket was higher than usual.
East Bengal played the match with such domination that it seemed that the opponent was not Mohun Bagan but any Dalhousie or Sporting Union. Surajit Sengupta drew first blood on 5th minute as he scored between Nimai and Digpati. East Bengal earned a penalty in the early moments of the game after Tapan Basu brought down Shyam Thapa inside the area. But Shyam Thapa missed the penalty on the 11th minute, only to reduce the amount of misery on Mohun Bagan. In the 24th minute, Shyam Thapa scored from a Subhas Bhowmick cross following a counter-attack. Ranjit Mukherjee scored the goal of the match in the 38th minute after Surjit feed him following some short passes with Shyam.
As the 2nd half started, Bagan’s nightmare increased after Bhaskar failed to grip a Surojit strike and Shyam capitalized on the rebound in the 51st minute. After that East Bengal players themselves started relaxing on the field. Players like Gautam Sarkar and Samaresh Choudhury joked as they were involved in a “Hamaguri” (Baby walk) on the field!!! Their passing and skill made the crowd cheering. But still, Mohun Bagan couldn’t stop East Bengal’s 5th as substitute Subhankar Sanyal scored 6 minutes from time. Two Ex-Mohun Bagan players, Surojit Sengupta and Subhas Bhowmik appeared most fearsome to the Mohun Bagan defence. Sudhir Karmakar made his towering presence felt in the defence. Shyam Thapa missed the golden opportunity to be the 1st player to score a hattrick in the Mother of all Derby following his penalty miss.
Many famous persons were present to watch the match including CM of Tripura, Sukhamoy Sengupta and Sports Minister of WB Govt., Prafulla kanti Ghosh. One East Bengal fan has heart-attack in joy after East Bengal was 4-0 up. Tragedy followed in the Mohun Bagan camp as one die hard supporter, Umakanto Palodhi committed sucide.
Though some consider this as an accident, the fact is that Mohun Bagan was simply outplayed by East Bengal brilliance. East Bengal coach P.K. Banerjee observed the Mohun Bagan team and their strengths and weaknesses closely. He observed that the Mohun Bagan defence line was to slow to match the pace of the likes of Subhas, Surajoit and Shyam. And planned accordingly and cultivated gold. His work was made easy by MB officials as they took the players for a motivation break in Diamond Harbour 2 days before the match and on return they had a grand lunch party at one of their official’s home. Many consider these two were major factors besides East Bengal players’ brilliant display which made the biggest victory for East Bengal against Bagan.
East Bengal : Tarun Basu; Sudhir Karmakar, Ashokelal Banarjee, Shyamal Ghosh, Kajal Dhali (Mridul Mudsuddi); Samaresh Chaudhury, Gautam Sarakar; Subhas Bhowmik, Ranjit Mukherjee, Shyam Thapa (Subhankar Sanyal), Surojit Sengupta
Mohun Bagan : Bhaskar Ganguly (Prasanta Mitra); Bijay Dikpati, Nimai Goswami (Kampton Dutta), Subrata Bhattacharya, Dilip Palit; Tapan Basu, Prasun banerjee; Ulganathan, Kannan, Kesto Mitra, Sisir Guha Dastidar
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