Kolkata: Tremors were felt again in Kolkata but the epicentre was the Mohun Bagan ground here as high octane screams of adoring fans welcomed the team’s I-League winning members yesterday.
The jubilant Mohun Bagan team is given a grand welcome in Kolkata yesterday. PIC/PTI
Mohun Bagan won the I-League on Sunday after drawing 1-1 with runners-up Bengaluru FC in Bengaluru. It was the football powerhouse’s maiden I-League triumph and their first trophy in five years.
13-year wait ends
The win also ended their 13-year wait to win India’s top football title for the fourth time. It took around four hours for the team to arrive at the club tent from the Kolkata airport. But for the fans it was worth the wait as they came from all around the state in matadors and trucks.
Fans gathered in large numbers at the Maidan-based club. The crowd was so strong that the local police had to intervene and divert the traffic to keep things under control and maintain smooth traffic flow.
During the four-hour journey, the team endured a start-stop journey as the players were garlanded at every opportunity.
As soon as the team bus came in sight, delirious fans went into a frenzy, forcing the club officials to abandon their initial plan of putting the players on horse-pulled carriages.
The team made a grand entry into the stadium with coach Sanjoy Sen holding aloft the trophy in the forefront of the bus, Japanese medio Katsumi Yusa and Nigerian defender Bello Rasaq drew the loudest cheers.
The latter had scored the all-important goal which restored parity against Bengaluru FC as 1-1 was good enough for the city giants to hold aloft the trophy.
“It has come after a long wait and now we have it. It is dedicated to you people,” Mohun Bagan captain Shilton Paul told the boisterous crowd.