Mohun Bagan maintains the record of not winning their first iLeague match. A late equalizer denied the Mariners to earn full 3 points from the away match. However, the team will return home with lot of positive from this game.

Partly cloudy sky with 25o C temperature, 64% humidity and floodlit Balewadi stadium – the stage was perfectly set for an entertaining encounter. Pune FC, the home team, started with a distinct psychological advantage as they were backed by full house local supporters.  For the Mariners, opening encounters in i-league have always been the nightmare in recent past. And this statistics was at the back of the mind when get into the game. Hence they were cautious not to get into the pressure by being at the receiving end.

After the initial ice breaking moment, the mariners slowly get into the attacking mode by effectively using the both flanks. In the process, they earned couple of corners and free kicks. However, they had to wait till 33rd minute when Snehasis broke the impasse with a brilliant shot from a direct free kick (1-0). The goal changed the entire complexion of the game as both the team stated showing their attacking intent. It was PFC who got more physical and the match official had to use the yellow card to control the temper of PFC players. However, the same saga of getting physical continued by the PFC players as they tried to put more pressure the mariners.

 As the game progressed into the second half, PFS went all out to break the jinx. On the other hand, the Mariners were unlucky as the opposition cross bar and bar post denied them to increase the lead for 3 times. On 82nd minute, PFC got a corner and the ace striker, Arata, equalized with his accurate header (1-1). For a moment Bagan’s defense had a lapse in concentration and paid the price. Once the score is level and as the crowd became more and more noisy, PFC tried to take full advantage of the situation to take the advantage of somewhat nervous shaky movements by the Mariners. Stanley made couple of injury minute substitutions (Ishfaq and Ashim came in place of Gouranga and Muritala) as the referee; Mr. Suresh blew the long whistle after the three minutes of extra time. Chidi was decleared ‘Man of the Match’.

Going by the result, the Mariners fans would not be happy but earning a point in opening encounter in away match will definitely help them to sleep comfortably, at least for today.
Mohun Bagan: Shilton, Kingshuk, Rahul, Harpreet, Dhanrajan, Gouranga (Ishfaq), Manish, Barreto, Snehasis, Muritala (Ashim), Chidi

Today’s match – fact sheet at a glance

pponent team Pune FC
Date 3-Dec-10
Venue Balewaadi Stadium, Pune
Kick off time 7:00 PM
No. of goal Mohun Bagan scored 1 (Snehasis 33′)
Opponent scored 1 (Arata, 82′)
Number of yellow card shown to MB Players 1 (Muritala)
Number of red cards shown to MB players 0
Average age of 1st XI 25.1 yrs
Average age of the squad (registered for iLeague) 23.3 yrs
1st half Score  1 – 0
Style of formation  4 – 4 – 2
1 Ishfaq in place of Gouranga (89′)
2 Asim in place of Muritala (93′)

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