Kolkata, April 15 (IANS) Mohun Bagan moved out of the relegation zone in the National Football League (NFL) by scoring a come-from-behind 2-1 win over arch-rivals East Bengal at the Salt Lake stadium here Sunday.
Douglas da Silva struck the winner, eight minutes from the final whistle, through a blinding header off a corner from Lalkamal Bhowmick to inflict a crushing blow to East Bengal's title hopes.
Earlier, Brazilian Edmilson Marques put East Bengal in the lead from a well-taken penalty in the 30th minute after Malswamtulunga was brought down by goalie Shilton Paul.
Mohun Bagan drew parity right at the stroke of half time through a Jose Ramirez Barreto header off a cross by Mehtab Hossain.
While East Bengal held the reins in the first half, Mohun Bagan were the more spirited side in the second. It was Boniface Ambani who missed a gilt-edged opportunity for East Bengal midway into the half. But other than that, Mohun Bagan controlled the midfield.
East Bengal custodian Abhra Mandal effected a brilliant save plucking the ball right from the boots of Baichung Bhutia, minutes before the India captain was substituted by Lalampuia.
The match also held significance as FIFA president Joseph Blatter, who was in the city to launch GOAL 2011 project to help an ailing Indian football, was present as the special guest.
The otherwise well-managed event, however, was marred by pandemonium after the final whistle as a few East Bengal fans vented their frustration on Mohun Bagan president Satya Sadhan Bose by throwing abuses at him.
Mohun Bagan: Shilton Paul, Dulal Biswas, Sanjeev Maria, Deepak Mondal, D. Ravanan, Douglas Silva, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Mehtab Hossain (Suman Dutta 88th minute), Lalkamal Bhowmick, Jose Ramirez Barreto, Baichung Bhutia (P.C. Lalampuia 86)
East Bengal: Abhra Mondal, Surya Bikash Chakraborty, Christiano Oliveira, M. Suresh, Saumik Dey, S. Malaswtlunga, Chandan Das (Sovan Chakraborty 70), Jayanta Sen, Alvito D'Cunha, Bonniface Ambani (Ashim Biswas 82), Edmilson Marques (Snehashis Chakraborty 45).