Very few football rivalries are as old as the likes of the Superclasico (River Plate and Boca Juniors), El Clasico (Barcelona and Real Madrid), the North-West derby (Manchester United and Liverpool) and others. The Kolkata derby – Mohun Bagan (now ATK Mohun Bagan FC) vs East Bengal FC (now SC East Bengal) – is one of them. The oldest rivalry in the history of Asian football, the Kolkata Derby aged 100 years in 2021 when the two football sides met in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan Stadium.
Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal (Kolkata Derby) Head-to-Head
|Competitions||Matches||East Bengal wins||Mohun Bagan wins||Draws|
|Indian Super League||3||0||3||0|
|Calcutta Football League||160||53||47||60|
|All Airlines Gold Cup||10||7||1||2|
With the rivalry spanning over 100 years, both the football clubs have met in numerous competitions, including 320 matches across 13 major tournaments. SC East Bengal have won 121 of them, while Mohun Bagan have emerged on 92 occasions.
Apart from this, the Kolkata giants have also faced each other 53 more times – 35 of them being in competitive matches and 18 exhibition games. Overall, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal have met a whopping 373 times, with East Bengal leading Mohun Bagan 129-122.
History of Kolkata derby
While the Mohun Bagan fans are primarily the natives of West Bengal, the East Bengal fans are mostly the ones who belong from the eastern part of Bengal from the pre-independent era. And what separates these two giants of Indian football more than anything is their culture. While the fish Hilsa represents East Bengal and is a big part of their support and celebration, the Mohun Bagan fans have prawns.
The first clash between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal occurred in the Coochbehar Cup on August 8, 1921, almost a year after East Bengal was established by Kolkata club Jorabagan vice-president Suresh Chandra Chaudhuri to field star player Sailesh Bose, who belonged to the eastern part of Bengal. While the match had ended in a goalless draw, it had kickstarted a rivalry for the ages.
Over the years, a Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal encounter has become a raging spectacle, with the fans fondly calling it the boro match or big match. The 1997 Federation Cup semi-final encounter was a memorable one. Though the one-sided match ended 4-1 in East Bengal’s favour, the stadium saw an attendance of 131,000, with another 50,000 waiting at the gates. The two teams met 20 days later, and 125,000 fans were waiting to welcome them again. The 1984 clash between the two at the Salt Lake Stadium is another famous derby match, which saw East Bengal’s Karthik Seth scoring a last-minute winner to win 1-0.
Over the past century, star footballers like Krishanu Dey, Chuni Goswami, Sailen Manna, Subhash Bhowmick and many more have graced many Kolkata derbies. The all-time leading scorer in Kolkata derbies is Bhaichung Bhutia, who has 19 goals while playing for both teams, while former Mohun Bagan striker Jose Barreto has 17 goals in this historic derby.
When is the next Kolkata derby?
Among the recent heroes of this derby would be ATK Mohun Bagan’s top goal-scorer Roy Krishna, who netted twice in the last two encounters between the clubs in the Indian Super League. ATKMB have won both of their last two encounters against SCEB in the ISL 2020-21 season, and the latter will hope to come back stronger with a new manager at the helm.
ATKMB have won both of their last two encounters against SCEB in the ISL 2020-21 season, and the latter will hope to come back stronger with a new manager at the helm. ATK Mohun Bagan will next face SC East Bengal on January 29, 2021, at the Fatorda Stadium in the Indian Super League.