KOLKATA, Dec 3: Mohun Bagan rode on a header from their Nigerian central defender Eze Kingsley to down East Bengal by a solitary goal in the first I-League derby of the season at a packed Salt Lake Stadium here today.
Man of the match Kingsley scored off a low but powerful header from a Sony Norde corner kick to help Mohun Bagan break an anxious 40 minutes stalemate for the former champions.
Their defence, led by goalkeeper Shilton Paul, held on to the slender lead on a day Norde and Ansumana Kromah failed to make use of the opportunities.
It was a lacklustre effort by the Khalid Jamil-coached East Bengal as Willis Plaza was off target and missed a few chances and East Bengal remained on one point.
There were five minutes left for the regulation time but East Bengal failed to find a goal, leaving Plaza frustrated as his shot went wide.
Mohun Bagan should give credit to their goalkeeper who stood tall between the posts, ensuring they don�t feel the absence of Debjit Majumder, who chose to be at ISL franchise ATK.
Battling a step-motherly treatment, the season�s first derby also made a big statement with an overwhelming attendance of 64,630 despite a 2pm kick off. � PTI