| Jose Ramirez Barreto tries to make his way through the Eastern Railway defence at the Mohun Bagan ground on Wednesday. Picture by Amit Datta
Calcutta: Eastern Railway have a reputation of spoiling reputations and producing shocks. On Wednesday, they caved in rather timidly to hand Mohun Bagan a comprehensive 3-0 verdict in the CFL Super Division encounter.
All three goals came in the first session and, strangely, none was credited to Jose Ramirez Barreto. Itís another matter that the brilliant Brazilian could alone have hit a hattrick in the second half ó the woodwork (twice) and Nilanjan Guhaís goalline clearance denying him.
Roving side-back Babun Kar drew first blood with a smart strike, and Hardeep Gill chipped in with an opportunistic brace before being substituted in the second half as he wasnít feeling well.
Mohun Bagan were not at full strength, skipper Rennedy Singh and Marcos Parreira taking a break to heal injuries. The veteran Basudeb Mondal got a rare chance to start and showed he was still good enough to last 90 minutes, at least against such opposition.
Right-back Kar was quite a livewire, always eager to charge upfront. He showed some nice touches too, combining effectively with Mondal, Barreto and Gill. Kar didnít shirk his defensive duties either, falling back quickly when the railway outfit woke up in the second half to launch some attacks.
The most visible player on the ground, Kar scored with a clever outstep drive in the 13th minute after goalkeeper Abhijit Roy made only a partial clearance off a Manitombi Singh free-kick. A little later, the railway custodian just about parried a snap left-footer from Kar.
A typically scything through ball from Barreto was gratefully converted by Gill after 25 minutes. The railway defenders stopped, wanting to catch Gill off-side. The flag stayed down, rightly so, and Gill comfortably avoided the keeperís challenge to put Mohun Bagan two up.
Kar set up Gillís next goal, sprinting up the right and releasing the ball at the right time. Gill was about to cut into the box when he sighted the keeper leaving charge and chip-lobbed the ball over his head for a fine strike.
Mohun Bagan: Prasanta Dora, Babun Kar, Debkumar Sashmal, Harpreet Singh (Bhola Dey, 69), Manitombi Singh, Basudeb Mondal, Mehtab Hossain (Palash Karmakar, 64), Abhay Kumar, Chukwuma Akuneto, Hardeep Gill (Shyambabu Rout, 46), Jose Ramirez Barreto.
Eastern Railway: Abhijit Roy, Srikrishna Ghosh, Debdas Sen, Santanu Bit, Abhijit Mondal, Nilanjan Guha, Prodyut Roy (Kuntal Biswas, 65), Biplab Adhikari (Mohan Chakraborty, 34), Farid Ali Mollah, Saikat Mondal (Henry Odogo, 46), Somnath Pramanik.
Referee: Partha Rout Roy