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Mohun Bagan v East Bengal

I-League 2018-19: Is prolific Jobby Justin the best Indian striker in the country?

00:30 GMT 29/01/2019
Jobby Justin Mohun Bagan East Bengal Kolkata Derby
With a goal and an assist in a big game, Jobby Justin has staked his claim as one of the best in the country..

Just past the half-hour mark in a buzzing Salt Lake Stadium, Jobby Justin once again produced the goods for East Bengal - something he has been doing since the start of the season. He managed to lift the Red and Gold fans to their feet as he struck the second goal of the match which sealed the three points for East Bengal.

The Keralite is in imperial form and has been involved in 12 goals (eight strikes and four assists), which counts for more than 50 per cent of East Bengal's total goals (23) scored this season.

Alejandro Menendez kept his faith on the Indian striker and handed him another start in a big-ticket game and he delivered. He was a constant menace for Mohun Bagan's defence and ended up with a goal and an assist to his name.

Eze Kingsley was given a run for his money during the first goal when Justin bulldozed his way past him to snatch away the ball. He kept his composure and passed it to Jaime Colado before Lalchhawnkima could commit himself into the tackle.

During the course of the 90 minutes, he did not give much breathing space to the backline with his intelligent off-the-ball movements. His partnership with Colado has been blooming with each passing game. The two forwards kept interchanging their position which was too hot to handle for Bagan two centre-backs.

The 25-year-old striker has improved significantly after Menendez took charge which has relegated Gagandeep Bali to the fringes.

His aerial ability is an added bonus as he has already scored a couple of headed goals this season. For East Bengal's second goal, he not only shrugged off his marker in Aser Dipanda but also timed his jump to perfection to connect to an inch-perfect corner-kick by Lalrindika Ralte.

Justin has shown that he can be relied as the target-man upfront if Menendez decides to attack from the flanks. He is gradually developing into a forward who can hold the ball and also get involved in the gameplay.

Stephen Constantine chose not to chop and change much to a settled squad before the AFC Asian Cup which might have delayed his national call-up. But now that he is the best in-form Indian striker in the country by some distance, there arises a strong probability that he might be named in the probables for the World Cup qualifiers.

For now, he has another task at hand - win the I-League with East Bengal and be the top Indian goalscorer in the country.