Kolkata Derby

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Kolkata Derby
Salt Lake Stadium - Yuva Bharati Krirangan , Kolkata - Calcutta 3.jpg
The Salt Lake Stadium hosts most of the meetings between the two sides
Locale Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Teams East Bengal
Mohun Bagan
First meeting Mohun Bagan 0–0 East Bengal
(8 August 1921)[1]
Latest meeting Mohun Bagan 0–0 East Bengal
(12 February 2017)
Next meeting 9 April 2017
Meetings total 359[2]
Most wins East Bengal (127)
All-time series East Bengal leads 127-114-118(W–L–D)
Largest victory
East Bengal 5–0 Mohun Bagan (30 September 1975)[3]

Kolkata Derby, locally known as Boro (means big in Bengali) match, is the football match between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. The two clubs currently meet at least 3 times a year, twice in the I-League and once in the Calcutta Football League. Often these two clubs meet in other competitions like the Federation Cup, the IFA Shield, the Durand Cup etc. The rivalry between these two teams is almost 100 years old, and features in the FIFA's classic derby list.[4] The matches witness large audience attendance and rivalry between patrons.

Both teams have huge And dedicated fan bases around the world. Both clubs represent a specific class of Bengali people, Mohun Bagan represents people existing in the western part of Bengal (known as Ghotis), while East Bengal is primarily supported by people hailing from the eastern part of pre-independence Bengal province (known as Bangals).

Culturally, this derby is very similar to Scottish Premier League's Old Firm derby, since a majority of the Mohun Bagan supporters represent the 'nativist' population (similar to Rangers FC) and a majority of the East Bengal fans represent the 'immigrant' population (similar to Celtic FC). However, a lot of people having origin in Bangladesh also support Mohun Bagan as it is the oldest football club in India. Similarly, some people of West Bengal origin support East Bengal considering it is football club of India. So there is an existence of cross-ethnic support base.


Further information: Football in Kolkata

Mohun Bagan is Asia’s oldest club having been established in 1889 in the city, then known under its anglicized name, Calcutta and till date the most successful club in India. The significant British influence in what was, until 1911, the nation’s capital, ensured the game flourished, drawing players from other regions, and it is against this backdrop in which today’s rivalry took root.

Like many great rivalries a schism, albeit in this case an indirect one, led to the birth of a local challenger. In 1920, the Jora Bagan club took field against Mohun Bagan who chose play without their star halfback Sailesh Bose, much to the chagrin of club vice-president Suresh Chandra Chaudhuri. Such was the industrialist's displeasure, he decided to form a new club and East Bengal was born. As Chaudhuri and his co-founders hailed from East Bengal, essentially now modern-day Bangladesh, the club is now generally supported by people who migrated from that region. This resulted in the clubs being backed by two different socio-economic groups, although this has largely changed over period of time. The first ever derby took place in the knock-out round of Cooch Behar Cup on 8 August 1921 in the police ground, which ended in a goalless draw. In the replayed match which happened on 10 August, Bagan outplayed East Bengal 3–0. Goals scored by Rabi Ganguly, Paltu Dasgupta and A. Ghosh. East Bengal took revenge later in the same month on 26 August in Khagendra Shield knock-out round by defeating Bagan 2–1. The next year in 1922 on 4 August, Mohun Bagan defeated East Bengal in the final of Cooch Behar Cup 2–0, played in the Mohun Bagan Ground. This entire news got published in Uttor bongo sangbad supplementary on 28 February 2016 and Sportstar Magazine April 2016 publication.[5] However, the first Calcutta League match between these two clubs happened on 28 May 1925 at the CFC ground (Mohun Bagan ground), which East Bengal won by 1-0 with Nepal Chakravarty scoring the solitary goal. The first Derby in a major tournament outside Kolkata was held on 28 December 1957 in the Semifinal of the Durand Cup at New Delhi in which the rivals played out a barren draw. In the replay held two days later, East Bengal won 3-2; Tulsidas Balaram, Balasubramaniam and Moosa scored for the winners while Chuni Goswami and N.Mukherjee reduced the margin for the losers.[3]

Facts and figures[edit]

Though exact figures are disputed, the Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal clash reaches a historic milestone of over 350 derby matches. Till now, the Kolkata rivals East Bengal and Mohun Bagan have played 359 matches against each other. East Bengal has won 127 matches, Mohun Bagan has won 114 matches and 118 matches ended in a draw.

Indian international Baichung Bhutia has tallied the most goals in derby matches (19 goals - 13 for EB and 6 for MB), with the diminutive forward transcending the city’s football divide by representing both clubs. His hat-trick in the famous 1997 derby (on behalf of East Bengal) made him the third player to make it and Nigerian Edeh Chidi (on behalf of Mohun Bagan) in 2009, who became the fourth player to score a hat trick in the Kolkata derby. Amiyo Deb is the first footballer to score a hat trick cum 4 goals in this derby in Darbhanga Shield on 5th Sept 1934 and Mohun Bagan won the match 4-1. Further Asit Ganguly is the second player to score a hat trick in this derby in Raja Memorial Shield final on 6th Aug 1937 and Mohun Bagan won that match 4-0 . So the first two hattricks in kolkata derby got scored by two bengalee footballers on behalf of Mohun Bagan http://www.uttarbangasambad.com/Admin/uploadedfiles/2016-09-05_16.pdf . The hat trick records came out in newly discovered derbies which got published in bartaman saptahiki in Jan 23rd and Feb 26th 2016 edition and Uttor bongo sangbad supplementary on 7 February 2016 and in several other leading newspapers (like Eisamay, Pratidin, Bartaman, Uttor bongo) in Dec 2015, Jan 2016, Feb 2016 and Sept 16. Baretto scored 17 goals in this derby and all on behalf of Mohun Bagan. The fastest goal in a derby was scored by Mohammed Akbar. On 24 July 1976 Mohun Bagan beat East Bengal 1-0 with a goal scored in 17 seconds by Mohammed Akbar. Mohun Bagan has the record of winning 2 consecutive derbies in 2 different tournaments in 2 consecutive days on 7th Aug 1935 (Lady Hardinge Shield) and 8th Aug 1935 (Darbhanga shield). Further Mohun Bagan has the record of losing only 1 derby during the period of 7 years from 1933 to 1939. The only derby Mohun Bagan lost during this period of 7 years is the 1936 CFL (1st leg), which East Bengal won 4-0.

Tales of derbies past[edit]

The 1960s proved a golden period for Mohun Bagan and it concluded in perfect fashion for the Mariners. Having already won the league, Mohun Bagan then did the double, defeating their rivals on their own ground in the IFA Shield final. The 3-1 victory credited to the then revolutionary 4-2-4 formation employed by innovative coach Amal Dutta.

The wheel eventually turned, as happens in most such rivalries, and the 1970s was East Bengal’s decade. It was surely the golden era of East Bengal Club. They lost only 1 derby in six years (1970 to 1975) which culminated in a 5-0 IFA Shield win over their great rivals. The Red and Golds roared to a record 5-0 scoreline and, with it, a record of five consecutive Shield victories. Such was the ignominy surrounding the heavy defeat that several Mohun Bagan players spent the night holed up on a boat in the Ganges trying to escape the wrath of shell-shocked supporters. Umakanto Palodhi, an ardent Mohun Bagan fan, committed suicide. He wrote in his suicide note that in his next life he will born as a Mohun Bagan footballer & will take revenge of that 0-5 defeat A fatal pandemonium occurred in the derby on 16 August 1980 taking a toll of 16 young lives. This marks the darkest day of Indian football. As the referee gave Dilip Palit and Bidesh Basu the marching orders in the second half, the gallery burst into agitation. A stampede at the Eden Gardens resulted in the disaster.[6]

The most memorable derby on many accounts took place in 1997 at the semi-final of the Federation Cup, when a remarkable crowd of 131,000 – a record attendance for any sport in India – filled a heaving Salt Lake Stadium. Appropriately enough, India's most recognizable footballer, Baichung Bhutia, took centre stage, scoring a hat-trick as East Bengal triumphed 4–1 in the semi-final of the Federation Cup.

In 2009, Mohun Bagan beat East Bengal 5–3 with Chidi Edeh scoring a hat-trick for Bagan. In their 2015 meeting in Calcutta Football League, East Bengal outplayed Bagan 4–0. The most recent derby held in Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri on 12 February 2017 ended in a goalless draw.

Comparison of trophies in different tournaments[edit]

Compitition Mohun Bagan won East Bengal won
National Football League / I-League 4 3
Federation Cup 14 8
Durand Cup 16 16
Indian Super Cup 2 3
Rovers Cup 14 10
Calcutta Football League 29 38
IFA Shield 22 28
All Airlines Gold Cup 8 7
Bordoloi Trophy 7 4
Sikkim Gold Cup 9 0
Total Trophies Won 256 149


1. ^ The final match of the 1967 IFA Shield, played between these two teams, was abandoned and remained incomplete with the score tied at 0–0; both the teams were eventually declared joint winners.[7][8]
However, Mohun Bagan considers the final as an official one on their official website, while the official website of East Bengal doesn't.


External links[edit]