Bagan won by 5-1 against ONGC in their opening match in Durand Cup. It is one of Chief Coach Karim Bencharifa’s favourite mantras: if you lose, it’s how you react that counts. What happened at IFA Shield final last week must have made Kareem and his boys’ teeth hurt, but it is difficult to imagine how Mohun Bagan’s response could have been more satisfying. Chiddi Edeh, who missed the IFA Shield final, soothed his nerves with two confidence-building goals. Ditto Surkumar Singh. Barreto’s goal made this Bagan’s biggest win of the season.
The most gratifying part for Kareem, however, was that the two players who were missed in the Shield final scored – though, Barreto missed a penalty.Chiddi had been desperately looking for the goals right from the word GO. Surkumar, too, should feel a lot better after hooking in two goals that had Bagan’s supporters loudly singing his name rather than arguing among themselves about whether he is a right back or a forward! When Barreto played with Chiddi to fire in Bagan’s third goal it was only the first time Chiddi had set Barreto up to score since they became team-mates. Barreto, in turn, has created only one for Chiddi. How this partnership is going to develop over the next few months, Kareem is acutely aware, will be pivotal to Bagan’s aspirations of keeping the Federation Cup and winning the i-League trophy. Mohun Bagan, now need just a draw against JCT in their next match on Friday to make it to the semi-final.
Surkumar Singh (9’ and 90+2) and Nigerian Chidi Edeh (16th and 77th) scored two goal each while Jose Barretto (43rd) scored once for Mohun Bagan, Babatunde socred the solitory goal for ONGC in the 82nd minuteof the match.
Surkumar Singh played at times was becoming a libero in the first half of the match, instead of his usual right back position. That was the successful experiement of Coach Bencherifa.
The member of the National squad played an outstanding game in the first half to take the full control of the match, though in second half he has played in his normal right back position.
Surkumar scored the first goal for Mohun Bagan. Seven minutes later, ONGC made a mistake for holding the ball inside their box for too long as Chiddi made no mistake to score his first of the match and 2nd for his team. On 43rd minutes before the lemon break, in his first mach Barretto scored by a right footer of a deflection from ONGC defender CS Saleel.
Chidi scored his double as he turned in a low right footer past the ONGC goalkeeper in the 77th minute, Surkumar completed the scorline 5-1 by firing in a 35-yard long ranger in the injury time.
Mohun Bagan AC
1-Sangram Mukherjee, 13-Irungbam Surkumar Singh, 4-Deepak Kumar Mondal [C], 20-Rakesh Masih, 27-Nallappan Mohanraj, 16-James Lukram Singh (72′ 32-Subhajit Majumdar), 26-Micky Fernandes, 17-Kalia Perumal Kulothungan (84′ 8-Subho Kumar), 25-Snehashis Chakraborty (65′ 7-Santha Kumar), 10-Jose Marcio Ramirez Barreto, 9-Chidi Edeh
31-Shilton Pal, 19-Mashangva Genius Zenith, 12-Branco Vincent Cardozo, 34-Sangram Mandi
30-Bilifang Narzary [C], 22-K.V. Lalu, 6-Udofia Chiukwama, 3-Kamal Thapa, 16-Shahbaz Shaleel, 18-L. Lalmuanpuia (60′ 17-Phool Chand Hembram), 11-Sandip Sanga, 14-Kaushik Bose, 28-A.Naresh, 10-Badmus Baba Thunde, 12-Jonathan Lalsangzuala (72′ 27-Kenistan C.)
1-Prasanjit Ghosh, 5-Gour Naskar, 25-Dharmesh Patel, 8-Somy P.T, 19-M.C. Dhanesh
Referee: A. Rowan (Services)