So many optimism before the game, so many positive comments on our players coming of age. And yes, team Mohun Bagan did what it does best – wins 2-1 against Mahindra United. Karim Bencharifa’s men came from a goal down in what was a pulsating first leg tie between the country’s best bets for the iLeague this year. The visitors equalized from a Marcos goal and later had a comfortable win with Sueoka scoring the winner. Bagan is now having 20 points from 11 matches, same as Mahindra United. Mahindra (+13) retains the top spot and Bagan(+10) might have to wait couple of rounds to place itself at the top.
Bagan was in an attacking mood right from the word GO. In the 2nd minute Bagan earned a free kick. Marcos took the shot. But Subhasish was alert and collected the ball well.
In the 7th minute of the match Paresh shivalkar went out and Thoi singh replaced him. And within two minutes Md. Rafi scored for Mahindra. Steven Dias crossed a ball from the right, Shilton fumbled and and Rafi headed the ball into the goal(1-0).
for next 15 minutes Bagan defense got shaken. At this time Mandi foiled a Mahindra attack while Shilton missed a Muritala header and the woodworks saved the day for Bagan.
Bagan slowly started taking control of the match as Sueoka and Ishfaq started moving from the two flanks. In the 25th minute Sueoka cross a ball for Barreto but Barreto failed to reach near the ball. For next 10 minutes Marcos and Sueoka started building up the pressure on Mahindra defense that started looking fragile. In the 32nd minute Sueoka crossed a ball for Barreto who failed to convert it to a goal. subhasish collected the ball well.
Soon Mahindra started rebuilding its defense and Pradeep did well to stop Marcos runs. This was the time when Bagan midfield took over the control – Ishfaq, Marcos, Kulothungan and Sueoka created lot of opportunities. In the 42nd minute Thoi singh was replaced by Kalialauddin.
In the 45th minute Ishfaq collided with Subhasish. Muritala came from nowhere and started reacting. Players from both the teams lost their temper. Later Muritala was booked.
Post lemon break both the teams started playing attacking football. In the 52nd minute in-form James replaced Tomba. This gave Bagan an edge. His movementsz from the right created panic in Mahindra defense. In the 58th minute Barreto got the ball in side the box, and Subhasish had to fist his shot back to the box. Marcos got the control of the ball and placed it well (1-1). In the 59th minute Surkumar was booked. In the 65th minute Sueoka headed from a James center. The header was right on target and Subhasish did well to save it. Kulothungan crossed the ball from left and Marcos had to push the ball in. But he missed this opportunity.
In the 70th minute Ishfaq made a brilliant cross from left – and Subhasish did well to save it for the Jeepmen.
In the 76th minute Biswajit moved from the left flank and crossed the ball for Sueoka. sueoka goes all out and his header got past Mahindra defense into the goal (2-1).
For next 15 minutes Mahindra went all out and shilton stood rock solid beneath the bars. He foiled couple of shots on target. Sagram and Azim also consolidated and made it impossible for the Jeepmen to score the equalizer.
Mohun Bagan :Marcos 58′, Sueoka 76′
Mahindra United: MD. Rafi 9′
M.O.M : Sueoka
Mohun Bagan : Shilton, Surkumar, Sagram, Azim, Biswajit, Tomba (James 52′), Marcos, Kulothungan, Ishfaq, Barreto, and Sueoka.
MU: Subhasish, Tamba,Ravanan, Sushant Mathew, Debabrata, Pradeep, Ajayan, Paresh (Thoi Singh 7′, Kalialauddin 44′), Steven Dias, Md. Rafi, and Muritala.