“We don’t care who is facing us in the semifinal Our job is to get into the final” – says Head Coach Karim Bencharifa. He adds “I want to give credit to Mahindra United and their coach. Our performance against Chirag was better though. The crowd is always with us. they have come down from Kolkata even.”. Karim seemed to be confident and his body language was not reflecting overjoy – but rather was representing self confidence as Mohun Bagan routed Mahindra United 2-0 to move into the semifinal of Federation Cup.
Mohun Bagan was leading 1-0 at the end of first half against Mahndra United in the group league match at Guwahati. In the first 20 minutes Mahindra tested Bagan defense 3 times. Sangram showed his brilliance couple of times.
From the 21st minute onwards Bagan started controlling the game. This was the time when James Singh started showing his worth and soon Mahindra defense was exposed. Later Barreto and Chidi got some opportunities but failed to score. In the 40th minute Barreto was pushed from back by Ravanan inside the box, and the referee whistled for a penalty. Barreto converted that to a goal by placing the ball to left of Subhasish (1-0).
Chidi increased Bagan’s lead in the 49th minute as he got a Biswajit Saha cross from the left, controlled it as the ball got deflected from a Mahindra defender, and he made no mistake to push the ball to the left of Subhasish (2-0).
In the 56th minute Barreto was close to increase the lead but Sushant Mathew saved it for MU. In the next minute Masih missed the easiest chance of the day as his header went out.
Deepak Mandal and Sangram were outstanding and foiled many of Mahindra attacks.
Another player who played really well was Ishfaq Ahmed. Ishfaq was found losing his temper when Steven Dias went for a nasty tackle from behind. After the game was over, Ishfaq was asked about the incident and he mentioned that he is working on controlling his tempers.
Bagan will face the winner of Group A in the semifinal.
One must add, that for the first time in his career referee Dinesh Nair handled the incidents on the ground very well. Mohunbaganclub.com takes the chance to congratulate for officiating well.
Mohun Bagan: Sangram, Biswajit, Dipak, Azim, Surkumar, Ishfaq, Masih, Sueoka, James(Tomba 92′), Barreto (Souvik 93′) Chidi.
Picture Courtesy : AAJKAAL