Kolkata, January 22: Thousands of Mohun Bagan supporters sported masks of Haitian forward Sony Norde during Bagan's 2-0 win over East Bengal in Sunday's Kolkata Derby in the I-League.
Norde too was a spectator from the VIP box, probably for the last time this season as he's set to undergo a knee surgery in Argentina. He will leave Kolkata for Buenos Aires on Tuesday and will be sidelined for the next three-and-a-half months. Aser Pierrick Dipanda Dicka scored twice as Bagan completed a double over East Bengal in the Derby.
"I simply could not have imagined that I would receive such affection from the fans," Norde said, referring to gesture of the fans. "I was taken to the dressing room at the end of the match, where they dedicated the victory to me! I was once again reminded about the passion that Kolkata has for football and footballers. I have played in several clubs in several countries. But I have never received such amount of love and admiration.
“More than anything, I am relieved that this Mohun Bagan team has the capacity to win crucial matches even without my presence.”
Sony Norde will be felicitated by none other than our ex-president Mr. Tutu Bose tomorrow at 3.30 pm as a token of best wish for his scheduled surgery on 27th January. It will be followed by the pressco of the Man himself. This much update on Sony till 3.30 pm tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/BuGCuueJky— The Mariners' (@MohunBagan) January 21, 2018
Commenting of Dipanda Dicka’s superb show, Norde said: “The new-recruit, Akram Moghrabi, was kept low by the East Bengal midfielders and defenders. Nobody thought that Dipanda Dicka, given his recent poor form, will be able to shine. Dipanda Dicka took this up as a challenge and proved his mettle."
Norde added he regretted that he was unable to play the Derby. "I wish I could have played," he said. "The new Lebanese striker Akram... he's in a different level. He scores a lot of goals, but he also loves to feed his fellow striker. I definitely like to play with this kind of striker.”