In a stunning encounter, Muritala scored twice in injury time to register a 2 -1 victory for the Mariners against Peerless. It’s really going to be a tough ask to write a match report for anyone who has just watched today’s encounter at the Mohun Bagan Ground. Ever after the long whistle blown by the referee, spectators remained on their toes as they couldn’t believe what they had witnessed in the last 10 minutes of the match. The great game of football proves once again – ‘Nothing is impossible provided you fight for it’.
After a galore of miss-passes and wastage of dozens of set pieces, pretty unimpressive Mariners suddenly woke up in the dying minutes and in the process ace striker Muritala scored 2 stunning goals to earn 3 points and keep the team in the championship race. Coach Stanley continued to experiment with the first XI as he rested Snehasis, Kaushik, Surabuddin and Dhanarajan and brought in Biswajit, Gouranga, David and Chiddi. The other reason is for experiementation is that all the rested players were shown yellow card in the earlier macthes. Mariners were quickly into their stride and earned a few corners within first 10 minutes. They came close to open the score card in the 11th minute when the last defender of Peerless narrowly prevented the ball from crossing the goal line. Mohun Bagan tried to establish a grip on the game but failed to score even with taking advantage of having an extra midfield player of the stature of Barreto.
But Peerless stunned Mohun Bagan by taking their lead via Binod Bauri when they converted a corner in the injury time of the first half. (0-1) The Mariners went to lemon break trailing by a goal.
Mohun Bagan tried to retaliate and continued to dominate the game right from the beginning of the second half. It was a do-or-die situation for Stanley as he opted for 2 back to back substitutions in the 50th minute (Surabuddin and Snehasis replacing David and Gouranga respectively) and the last one in the 64th minute (Manish in place of Jayanta) and went into an all out attacking mode. The game turned out to be a battle of resilience of the Peerless goalkeeper and the desperate Mohun Bagan attacking force. Mohun Bagan failed to capitalize as many as 10 corners and this might be a serious concern for coach Stanley in view of forthcoming I-League.
Frustration was mounting both inside the ground as well as at the stands. It was almost looking like a hopeless situation when the match went into the injury time of 6 additional minutes. And suddenly it was a magical display of Muritala as he equalized from Chiddi’s centre (1-1).
A draw couldn’t be a consolation for the Mariners and the ace striker knew it well. In the last minute of injury time, Mohun Bagan earned a corner and that was the last opportunity. Snehasis floated the ball in from the corner, Muritala connected the ball with his head and stunned the crowd!! (2-1). 3 points were finally earned for the Mariners, which would now keep them very much in the championship race.
Mohun Bagan: Shilton, Biswajit, Harpreet, Karan, David (Surabuddin), Jayanta ( Manish), Nazimuddin, Gouranga ( Snehasish), Chidi, Barreto, Muritala.
Today’s match – fact sheet at a glance
|Opponent team||Kolkata Port Trust|
|Venue||MB Ground, Kolkata|
|Kick off time||2:30 PM|
|No. of goal Mohun Bagan scored||2 [Mutitala (90+1′, 90+6′]|
|Number of yellow card shown to MB Players||0|
|Number of red cards shown to MB players||0|
|Average age of 1st XI||24.3 yrs|
|Average age of the squad (registered for Fed cup)||23.3 yrs|
|1st half Score||0 – 1|
|Style of formation||4 – 4 – 2|
|1||Surabuddin in place of David(50mt)|
|2||Shegasis in place of Gouranga(50mt)|
|3||Manish in place of Jayanta(64mt)|
Picture Courtesy : Bartaman