Mohun Bagan won against Churchill Brothers by 1-0. Lalam Puia scored the goal in the 13th minute off a brilliant pass from Marcos. Marcos Perreira of Mohun Bagan was declared Man of the match. Mariners now have 9 points from their 7 matches and will play their next match at Salt Lake against JCT on 16th Nov.
Mohun Bagan defeated Churchill Brothers 1-0 in Salt Lake Stadium today via Lalampuia goal in 13th minute. Mohun Bagan played a brilliant tactical game and credit should be given to Kareem for this win. Mohun Bagan defenders did not give Odafe Okolie any chance to take a shot at goal. Whenever he got possession of the ball, at least 2 Mohun Bagan players surrounded him and forced him to make errors. Manju, Deepak and Peter Odafe were rock solid in defence. Marcos and Rakesh played quite well in midfield. Coach Kareem said, "I wanted to cut the supply
line from midfield to Odafe Okolie and my players succeeded in doing that and so Churchill changed their game plan and in 2nd half they mainly relied on long ball towards our box and our defenders played well to deny Churchill any goal mouth opening."
Mohun Bagan started the match with a bang. Within 2 minutes, a long throw from Peter Odafe caused panic in Churchill box and defenders cleared the ball for safety. In 6 minutes, Felix ran down the right flank past Deepak and took a center which just went out. In 8th minute,
Ishfaq gave a good pass to Lalampuia who attempted a center towards Baichung but Churchill defenders managed to clear the ball. Within 2 minutes, Churchill got a direct free-kick but Odafe’s shot went above the bar post. Mohun Bagan scored the goal in 13th minute. Marcos
lobbed the ball from center circle towards Lalampuia who was standing in the edge of the Churchill box, the ball went straight over Gourmangi’s head towards him whose brilliant first touch carried the ball forward before he placed the ball nicely past Churchill goalkeeper into net giving Mohun Bagan the lead. A brilliant pass from Marcos and equally brilliant was the finish by Lalampuia. Within 5 minutes, Vashum got a chance for Churchill when a misunderstanding took place between Sangram and Habibur, and Manju made a brilliant tackle to save a certain goal. In the 27th minute, from a pass off Chitra, Odafe got the ball in open space inside Mohun Bagan box and as he was about to take a shot, Manju made a well timed tackle, thus averting the danger. In 31st minute, Mohun Bagan got a direct free kick outside Churchill box, Baichung took the shot but it went out. In the next minute, Odafe Okolie got the ball in good position in box but this time it was Peter Odafe’s turn to cover him nicely and prevented him from taking a shot. In 40th minute, Mohun Bagan missed an easy chance. From a Marcos corner, Baichung got the ball in a scoring position but he placed the ball which went over goal post, he could have done better. In 42nd minute, Odafe Okolie took a nice free kick which swerved and was going in goal, Sangram made a timely save and fisted the ball for corner. In 43rd minute, Felix took a center from right flank, Sangram missed flight and James cleared the ball for safety.
Just after lemon break, Peter Odafe miscleared a ball inside box and Odafe Okolie got a chance but could not take a shot. In 52nd minute, Felix ran with ball inside Mohun Bagan box and Peter Odafe made a brilliant tackle for corner. Churchill coach then made two changes in quick succession bringing on Nicholas and Bimeesh. In 62nd minute, Chandam Singh got a loose ball in right side but he shot wide. From counter attack, Ishfaq gave a good through pass to Lalampuia who just could not reach, Churchill goalkeeper came out and made a timely save. In 67th minute, Odafe took a center from right side and Nicholas attempted a bicycle kick but could not connect the ball properly and it went out. In 70th minute, Gourmangi fouled Lalam quite badly and should have got yellow card but referee completely ignored the incident. Lalam then got the easiest chance of the match when Ishfaq gave a pass towards Lalampuia, Churchill defence failed to clear the ball and Lalampuia got the ball in
open and he shot straight at Arindam, he could have placed the ball on either side of the goalkeeper. In 75th minute, from a long clearance by Odafe, Baichung back headed the ball towards Lalampuia who got a lot of open space in front of him but could not utilize it and gave a pass to Masih who gave a miss pass towards Ishfaq. Churchill indeed attacked a lot in 2nd half and tried to score but Mohun Bagan defenders played brilliantly and did not give any opportunity to score. Marcos got Man of Match. Marcos played well but we think that Manju would have been the better choice for the award. Mohun Bagan now has 9 points from 7 matches.
After match, Kareem said, "I am happy with how my boys fought, full marks to them, every player had a great game. This is the third match in which I am having my full team and this is the reason team is playing well. After Kolkata league, the players were exhausted and few of my players were injured and so we faltered in few games initially in I league." When asked if Mohun Bagan is back in race for championship, Kareem said, "I am not thinking that way. I will plan game by game. Next match is a tough game against JCT and we have to continue with our
Deepak again had a brilliant match in left back position. He is slowly adapting himself nicely in this position. Peter Odafe made few mistakes in defence but overall had a good match and played well in 2nd half. Manju was flawless as stopper. He made 3 great tackles which he timed to perfection. Manju is much better player in stopper position than side back. In midfield, Marcos and Rakesh was very good. Marcos was adjudged Man of the Match. Coach Kareem said, "I am happy with both Marcos and Rakesh’s performance. Rakesh’s job was to tackle the ball timely in midfield and to cut supply line towards Odafa and he succeeded in doing that. When asked to comment about Marcos, coach said, "I am quite happy with his performance. In Kolkata league, my midfield was a bit shaky and Marcos has given stability to the midfield." Ishfaq tried a lot with his pace but his delivery is not up to mark. He should learn when to release the ball and pass it to man waiting in box. Baichung and Lalampuia continued to keep pressure on Churchill defence from time to time. Lalampuia’s goal was a good one though he missed another easy chance.
Mohun Bagan will next play against JCT on November 16, 2008.