Johnny Acosta was seen encouraging his fellow defenders when East Bengal went down 2-0 within the first 30 minutes of the match. Subhas Bhowmick had entrusted the Costa Rican to marshall the back-four and although he wasn't at fault for conceding the goals, his team was left with a mountain to climb.
His aerial ability is par excellence and East Bengal looked to exploit that at every opportunity. During each set-piece, Acosta's movement was measured and according to plan. He used Mehtab Singh as a shield and timed his runs to perfection to get to the end of the crosses.
It was Acosta who pulled one back in the dying minutes of the first half which helped boost East Bengal's spirits. His header from close-range was too hot to handle for Shilton Paul. The Bagan goalkeeper failed to make a clear save and Acosta converted from the rebound.
He followed Aser Dipanda like a shadow and restricted the movements of the Cameroonian. His overwhelming presence in defence also did not allow Dipanda and Henry Kisekka to link up play in the attacking third.
The 2018 World Cupper was the principal architect in initiating attacks from the back as Bhowmick decided to trust his ability to distribute the ball.
His only error in the whole game was when he misplaced his backpass and it fell for Dipanda. However, Kassim Aidara's timely intervention averted danger on that occasion.
Acosta also seemed a bit jaded in his movements as he is yet to get 100% match fit. There was an instance when Kisekka showed him a clean pair of heels and raced past him down the flanks.
But taking into consideration that it was his first competitive match after two months and that too in a high voltage derby, it is safe to say that the star signing will prove to be Alejandro's trusted adjutant in East Bengal's defence for the foreseeable future.