Kolkata: Set to join the Indian Super League bandwagon from the next season, Mohun Bagan prevailed 2-1 against arch-rivals East Bengal in an emotional I-League derby here on Sunday.
Joseba Beitia (18th) and Baba Dawara (65th) struck on either side of the break as Mohun Bagan put up a solid display both in the attack and defence to grab three points, consolidating their position atop the table.
They now have 17 points from eight matches, six clear of second placed Punjab FC.
A lacklustre East Bengal reduced the margin through Marcos Jimenez (72nd). They were unlucky when Juan Mera’s 30-yard shot bounced off the crosspiece as they suffered third defeat in row to be on eight points from seven matches.
With Mohun Bagan announcing their merger with two-time ISL champions ATK, this was the penultimate derby in the I-League era.
And Mohun Bagan made it special, winning their first derby since January 21, 2018 — a 2-0 win in I-League. Since then Mohun Bagan had failed to win from from four matches, including two in I-League.
There was a massive turnout with 63,756 fans attending the match.
Crowds poured in hours before the start, holding placards and chanting the team slogans, making it a festive atmosphere at the iconic venue which will host the final I-league derby on March 15.