Mohun Bagan’s bench for the 13th match against Pune FC did not have a stopper and did not have a striker in the reserve bench. Undoubtedly the squad that went to Pune was not the best one. however that wasn’t enough – a hapless defense ensured Bagan concede two goals – the first one by Jeje thanks to Sangram and Anwar – and second by Lester thanks to Pradeep. The score card will say Pune FC 2-1 Mohun Bagan. What it will not say is that Odafa Okolie failed to get even one proper through and did not get any support from the central midfield and right flank! The only support he got to an extend was from Hudson Lima.
The performance was disappointing no doubt- but it raised a concern – with East Bengal match being the next one in the season – is Bagan defense ready to meet them? It has been matches where Kingshuk and Anwar played together with Sangram behind them – and till now Anwar and Sangram have no idea about which ball to cover and which one to leave for others to cover.
In one such case Lester crossed the ball to near post from left – and Jeje headed the ball past sangram into the goal. First Sangram was not in the right position – second he failed to step out and clear the ball – third he felt Anwar will clear the same. For Anwar he gave a judgement – and left the ball for Sangram ot clear – end result Jeje had no problem in scoring the equaliser.
The second goal for Pune happened from the right when Douhou through found Kaite – and his cross to the far post found Lester who got past Pradeep and shot the ball into the net to make it 2-1 for Pune.
There were at least 3 more occasions when Pune failed to increase the margin – and twice it was open goal miss!
Odafa scored the lone goal for Bagan and the defense failed to defend it just because the defenders had no clue about each other’s position.
Pune was undoubtedly the better of the two teams – and the scoreline was justified.
Bagan will now meet East Bengal – and East Bengal coach can be very happy to see the shape of the Bagan defense. One wonders if the inclusion of the man Bagan trusts most can change this hapless team to a winning one? Yes – Jose Barreto was badly missed in this game today!