Top 5: Best Moments of the Decade for East Bengal!
Last Updated 8:43 PM 26th December 2019 .
East Bengal fans in the last decade have seen many highs and lows along the way with the football team having some memorable games and tournaments to cherish for.
Let us reconcile the best 5 moments of the last decade which had the fans go frenzy:
5. 2018-19 I-League campaign / Derby Double / Reception from fans
East Bengal might not have won the 2018-19 I-League but the football they played under Coach Alejandro Menendez won over the fans as they became runners up by a single point.
The fans came in numbers at the airport to receive the team as they returned home after playing the final game which was a image to savour for a team that did not win the championship.
The campaign also saw Alejandro Menendez’s men pick up a derby double over their arch-rivals after 15 years which also came after a dry-span of 32 months of not winning a Derby.
4. 8 Consecutive CFL titles
The one thing East Bengal fans will forever be proud of is the record which they set in this decade of winning the Calcutta Football League for 8 consecutive times from 2010-2017!
East Bengal themselves held the record of winning 6 consecutive CFL titles previously from 1970-1975.
In 2010, Trevor James Morgan’s side started the run after winning the Calcutta Football League after 3 years defeating arch-rivals Mohun Bagan 2-0 with a brace from young forward Robin Singh.
In 2017, Khalid Jamil completed the octa-title win by managing a 2-2 draw once again against rivals Mohun Bagan to win the title on goal difference.
3. Do Dong’s Derby: Winning 4-0!
Derbies are always special and more when your team completely thrashes your arch-rivals.
6th September, 2015 – the South Korean left footed Wonderboy Do Dong-Hyun etched his name forever into Red and Gold folklore as his twin freekick strikes helped East Bengal win 4-0 against arch-rivals Mohun Bagan and lift the Calcutta Football League for the 6th consecutive time. Md. Rafique and Rahul Bheke scored the two other goals.
One needs to search the history of Kolkata Derby, to find if this has ever happened that a single player has scored two freekick goals in a Derby game.
This was also a record win by highest margin in the Calcutta Football League in the history of Kolkata Derby, matching a similar scoreline of East Bengal defeating Mohun Bagan 4-0 way back in 1936.
2. Federation Cup triumps
The early part of the decade saw East Bengal team completely dominate the top most cup competition of the country as they reached 4 back to back Federation Cup finals winning 3 of them.
After winning the Federation Cup in 2009 at Guwahati, East Bengal team under new coach Trevor James Morgan headed off to Cuttack to defend the title and did so very well by defeating arch-rivals Mohun Bagan 1-0 in the final courtesy of a goal in the second half from Vashum.
In 2011, Trevor Morgan’s boys once again reached the final, this time in front of home crowd at Kolkata but an injury to Mehtab Hossain in the early stages of the game marred all strategies of the Englishmen as they lost 3-1 to Salgaocar.
In 2012, Trevor Morgan’s boys went to Siliguri to reclaim the title and they did manage to achieve that by first winning the Semi Finals against Churchill Brothers in the added extra time courtesy of a sublime half volley from Lalrindika Ralte and then winning the final again in added extra time by 3-2 against then reigning I-League Champions Dempo SC.
East Bengal team was trailing in the first half but Arnab Mondal equalised to take the game into extra time where Chidi Edeh and Manandeep Singh scored to secure the 3rd Federation Cup title in 4 years for the Red and Gold brigade.
1. Reaching AFC Semi Final – undefeated!
When South Sudanese forward James Moga headed in the equaliser and an crucial away goal against Indonesian team Semen Padang in the second leg of the 2013 AFC Cup, East Bengal fans all over the world knew they have again made history as they became the first Indian team to reach the AFC Cup Semi Final undefeated. It was one of the proudest moment for all East Bengal fans.
East Bengal defeated Yangon United 5-1 in the Round of 16 to progress to the Quarter Finals. Coach Trevor Morgan resigned and Marcus Falopa took over and in front of a 30,000 packed Salt Lake Stadium, his team defeated Semen Padang 1-0 in the first leg of the Quarter Finals with Japanese forward Ryuji Suyeoka scoring from 30 yards out.
The Semi Finals was totally a mismatch in quality as Kuwait SC were the defending champions and clearly favourites. East Bengal went to Kuwait for the first leg and even after training 4-0, scored two vital away goals to keep the tie alive.
On 22 October 2013, 70 Thousand East Bengal fans packed the Salt Lake Stadium hoping for a miracle but the show was taken over by a quick footed Brazilian named Rogerinho Coutinho, who mesmerized the Salt Lake crowd to a get a standing ovation as the visitors won 3-0, ending all hopes of the East Bengal fans.
Nonetheless, the entire journey in the tournament will be remembered by East Bengal fans forever.