The build-up to any Kolkata derby is a litmus test for one's patience. The wait sometimes becomes impossible to bear with seconds seeming like hours and heads thronging with the rousing chants of your favorite club - anytime, anywhere.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused worldwide disruption to sporting calendars, forcing most events to be held behind closed doors. The packed stands will surely be missed, but that cannot put paid to our brimming excitement. After all, the Kolkata derby is a festival in itself, one that goes far beyond the sport to celebrate contrasting cultures, surging emotions, high-octane drama, and the zeitgeist of Indian Football's "Romantic Age".
A rivalry spanning almost a hundred years now, the derby embraced a new chapter as SC East Bengal took on ATK Mohun Bagan for the first time in the Hero Indian Super League, on 27 November 2020. Even though SCEB lost the contest 0-2, with Roy Krishna and Manvir Singh netting the goals for ATKMB, the match was keenly fought as both sides created chances aplenty.
As the season's second Kolkata derby draws near, we bring you a one-stop destination for all major statistics pertaining to Asian Football's biggest extravaganza.
· First officially recognised Kolkata derby between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan: Calcutta Football League, 1925. East Bengal won the match 1-0. *
· First officially recognised scorer for East Bengal in a Kolkata derby: Nepal Chakravarty
· First officially recognised venue of a Kolkata derby: CFC Ground, (now Mohun Bagan ground)
· First officially recognised brace by an East Bengal player in a Kolkata derby: Jiten Sarkar, 1926 CFL First Division. East Bengal won that match 2-1.
· Total number of meetings between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan across all competitions (till 18.02.2021): 327
· Highest margin of victory for East Bengal in a Kolkata derby: 5-0 in the 1975 IFA Shield final at the Mohun Bagan ground, Kolkata. It marked East Bengal's fourth consecutive Shield victory.
· First derby between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan to be held outside Kolkata: The 1957 Durand Cup semi-final, New Delhi. After it ended in a goalless draw the first time around, the replay saw East Bengal register a thrilling 3-2 win, with Tulsidas Balaram, Moosa and Balasubramaniam scoring for them. Notably, it was the first derby where the two rival stars, Balaram and Chuni Goswami, scored for their respective sides.
· Record attendance at a Kolkata derby: Approximately 1,31,000 spectators turned up for the 1997 Federation Cup semi-final between East Bengal and Mohun at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata on 13 July 1997.
· Top 5 scorers for East Bengal in Kolkata derby matches:-
Bhaichung Bhutia - 13 goals (highest tally for any Indian player for a single club in Kolkata derby fixtures)
Mohammed Habib - 10 goals
Chima Okorie - 7 goals
Subhash Bhowmick - 6 goals
· Worst scorelines for East Bengal against Mohun Bagan:-
(a) 0-3 , CFL First Division (1951)
(b) 0-3, CFL First Division (1963)
(c) 0-3, Durand Cup semi-final (1987)
(d) 3-5, I-League (2009-10)
· Meetings in finals of competitions:-
(a) IFA Shied
(i) East Bengal 1-0 Mohun Bagan, 1945 (ii) Mohun Bagan 1-0 East Bengal, 1947 (iii) East Bengal 2-0 Mohun Bagan,1949 (iv) East Bengal (0) 2 - (0) 0 Mohun Bagan,1951 (v) East Bengal (1) 1 - (0) 0 Mohun Bagan,1958 (vi) East Bengal (0) 0 - (0) 0 Mohun Bagan, 1961 (vii) East Bengal 1-1 Mohun Bagan, 1964 [Abandoned]
(viii) East Bengal (0) 1 - (0) 0 Mohun Bagan,1965 (ix) East Bengal - 0- 0 Mohun Bagan - 1967 [Abandoned] (x) Mohun Bagan 3-1 East Bengal, 1969 (xi) East Bengal 0 - 0 Mohun Bagan, 1972 [Mohun Bagan forfeited] (xii) East Bengal 1 - 0 Mohun Bagan, 1974 (xiii) East Bengal 5 - 0 Mohun Bagan,1975 (xiv) East Bengal 0 - 0 Mohun Bagan,1976 (xv) Mohun Bagan 1 - 0 East Bengal, 1977 (xvi) Mohun Bagan1 - 0 East Bengal, 1979 (xvii) East Bengal 2 - 0 Mohun Bagan, 1981 (xviii) East Bengal 1 - 0 Mohun Bagan, 1984 (xix) East Bengal 0(4) - 0(2) Mohun Bagan, 1986 (xx) East Bengal 2 - 1 Mohun Bagan, 1994 (xxi) Mohun Bagan 2 - 1 East Bengal, 1998 (xxii) East Bengal 1(4) - 1(1) Mohun Bagan, 2000 (xxiii) Mohun Bagan 0(5) - 0(3) East Bengal, 2003
(b) Durand Cup
(i) East Bengal (0) 0 - (0) 0 Mohun Bagan, 1960
(ii) Mohun Bagan 2 - 0 East Bengal, 1964
(iii) East Bengal 2 - 0 Mohun Bagan, 1970
(iv) East Bengal (0) 1 - (0) 0 Mohun Bagan, 1972
(v) East Bengal 3 - 0 Mohun Bagan,1978
(vi) East Bengal 0 - 0 Mohun Bagan, 1982
(vii) Mohun Bagan 1 - 0 East Bengal, 1984
(viii) Mohun Bagan 1 - 0 East Bengal, 1986
(ix) East Bengal 0 (3) Mohun Bagan 0 (1), 1989
(x) Mohun Bagan 1 - 0 East Bengal, 1994
(xi) East Bengal 2 - 1 Mohun Bagan, 2004
(c) Rovers Cup
(i) East Bengal (0) 2 - (0) 0 Mohun Bagan,1967
(ii) East Bengal 3 - 0 Mohun Bagan, 1969
(iii) East Bengal (0) (0) - (0) (0) Mohun Bagan, 1972
(d) Federation Cup
(i) East Bengal (0) (0) - (0) (0) Mohun Bagan,1978
(ii) East Bengal 1 - 1 Mohun Bagan, 1980
(iii) East Bengal 1 - 0 Mohun Bagan, 1985
(iv) Mohun Bagan 0(6) - 0(5) East Bengal,1986
(v) Mohun Bagan 2 - 0 East Bengal,1992
(vi) Mohun Bagan 2 - 1 East Bengal, 1998
(vi) East Bengal 1 - 0 Mohun Bagan, 2010
· Most goals by an East Bengal player in a Kolkata derby: Bhaichung Bhutia, hat-trick in the 1997 IFA Shield semi-final. The Red-and-Golds won the match 4-1. Nazim-ul-Haque scored the other goal for East Bengal, while Chima Okorie reduced the deficit for Mohun Bagan.
· All-time leading scorer in the Kolkata derby (both sides combined): Bhaichung Bhutia, 19 goals (13 for East Bengal and 6 for Mohun Bagan).
· First officially recognised hat-trick in the Kolkata derby: Bhaichung Bhutia, 1997 Federation Cup semi-final. **
· Most clean sheets by an East Bengal goalkeeper in the Kolkata derby: Bhaskar Ganguly, 15 clean sheets.
· Foreign referees who have officiated the Kolkata derby in India's post-independence era:-
(i) Dave Roberts (England) - Calcutta Football League, 18.08.2005
(ii) Gamini Nivon Robesh (Sri Lanka) - Calcutta Football League, 26.11.2010
(iii) Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan) - Calcutta Football League, 07.01.2012
· Only East Bengal player to score a brace in the Kolkata derby in the 21st century: Robin Singh
· Total number of goals scored by East Bengal in Kolkata derby matches: 320
· Number of Kolkata derbies won by East Bengal in the I-League: 16 out of 44 matches
· The 4000th goal in East Bengal's history coincidentally came in a Kolkata derby. It was scored by Chima Okorie in 1988.
· Scoreline of the first ever Kolkata derby match to be telecast on Doordarshan: East Bengal 2 - 0 Mohun Bagan
· Only player to never lose a Kolkata derby: Douglas da Silva
* A Kolkata-based researcher recently claimed that the first-ever clash between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan took place on 8 August 1921, in the Cooch Behar Cup, which ended in a goalless draw. With due respect to such private endeavors, we are sticking with the officially recognised version (CFL First Division, 1925) to avoid any confusion.
** The same researcher has also claimed that Mohun Bagan's Amiya Deb registered the first hat-trick in the history of the Kolkata derby when he struck four goals to guide his side to a 4-1 win in the second round of the now-defunct Darbhanga Cup in 1934. However, we are abiding by the official version which recognises Bhaichung as the first hat-trick scorer in East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan matches.
Written with inputs from Gautam Roy