Hiralal Mukherjee (Goal)
Mohun Bagan was going through a fairly good period of success. It had clearly achieved the No. 1 position among the Indian Teams. It was time to take on the British teams.
Mohun Bagan first got the chance to participate in the IFA Shield in 1909. It was a great honour to be selected to participate in the tournament for consistent performance over the last few years. For the first two years, Mohun Bagan Sporting Club was eliminated in the 2nd round struggling to match the British regiment teams.
The team was successful in other tournaments winning the Trades Cup in 1909 and the Lakshmivilas Cup, Nawab Asanullah Challenge Shield and Bengal Gymkhana Shield in 1910.
The coveted IFA Shield was however proving elusive. The legendary Shibdas Bhaduri was entrusted with the task of building a team that can be a serious title contender. Interestingly, apart from Reverend Sudhir Chatterjee, all the other ten Bengali players played their football barefoot making it all the more difficult to take on booted British players.
Then came they year 1911 which undoubtedly is the most memorable year in the history of India Football. The campaign started on 10th July, 1911. Mohun Bagan brushed aside their first opponents, St. Xavier’s College winning by 3 goals to nil. On 14th July, 1911 Mohun Bagan took on the Rangers Football Club in the second round. The Immortal XI played aggressively and went up 2-0 in the first half. Rangers came back in the second half but Bagan managed to hold on to the lead courtesy the brilliant goal-keeping of Hiralal Mukherjee. In the next match, Mohun Bagan defeated Rifle Brigade by 1 goal to nil on 19th July and made it to the Semi-Final.
The first Semi-Final was played on 24th July, 1911 at the Dalhousie Ground against the 1st Middlesex Regiment. The match ended in a draw and as there were no tie-breakers in those days, the match was replayed the next day. 1st day of semifinal was a draw. In the replay Shibdas Bhaduri, Habul Sarkar & Kanu Roy scored goals to seal a 3-0 win. Mohun Bagan was set to face East Yorkshire Regiment in the final.