Come tomorrow, Sunday the 20th Feb and Mohun Bagan will be up against the team that defeated them in the first leg. A payback time altogether for the Mariners as they lock horn against HAL and that too at their own backyard.
The Aircraftsmen will be missing the service of the ever-dependable Xavier VijayKumar, who is serving one match suspension due double booking (against East Bengal and JCT).
Mohun Bagan practiced today at the match venue, Shree Kanteerava Stadium in the morning. The condition of the ground deterred Technical Director (TD) Subhas Bhowmik to go out for a full-blown practice session. Instead, he resorted to stretching, playing half-ground on both the sides, and finally set-piece movements.
Apart from missing crucial players, Bagan TD looked like a worried man, thanks to the football pitch! National-level football is being played here after many years, and the ground is uneven, with bald-patches in many places. Minutes after Mohanraj started practicing, he experienced a groin pain, and was out of practice for the entire session.
Bhowmik recollected the 70’s decade, where he played at the same ground, which was in much better condition.
It’s a crucial situation for Mohun Bagan – needs to garner full points, also ensuring the players are free from any kind of injury.
Subhajyoti Banerjee ,Bangalore.