Mohun Bagan beat Oil India 2-1 in their first match of Federation Cup. Barreto scored both goals for Mohun Bagan. Mohun Bagan will next play against Vasco on 14th at 5:30 pm.

Mohun Bagan played brilliant football in 2nd half to beat Oil India 2-1 in a Group D match held in Barasat Krirangan today. Mohun Bagan started the match in 4-4-2 formation with Baichung Barreto upfront and Vashan and Dipak Mandal in stopper in absence of Odafe and Manju and Mohanraj played as left back. In the 1st minute itself, Mariners combined well. Marcos lobbed the ball towards Mohanraj who gave a pass to Barreto who in turn gave the ball to Lalkamal in left flank but unfortunately Lalkamal’s center was well intercepted by Oil India defence and Mariners got a corner. In 4th minute, Durga Boro, who was impressive throughout the match, ran past Habibur and took a shot which was saved by Sangram. Mohun Bagan went ahead in 9th minute. Marcos took a direct free kick which goalkeeper failed to collect and Baichung pounced on the ball and gave a back pass to Lalkamal who sent a high cross that Barreto leaped high and headed the ball into goal. In 13th minute, a Baichung-Mohanraj combination resulted in a pass to Barreto inside box but he fumbled a little with ball and missed a chance. Being a debutant team, Oil India surprised all by their good performance, especially in 1st half. After conceding an early goal, they came back strongly and caused panic time and again in Bagan defence. In 16th minute, Jyotish took a shot after going past Habibur but Dipak timely cleared the ball for safety. In 27th minute, a Habibur center almost resulted in an own goal off Biplab’s foot. In 32nd minute, Mohanraj received yellow card for a dangerous tackle. Oil India equalized in 37th minute when Durga Boro capitalized on a misunderstanding between Habibur and Sangram and lobbed the ball inside goal. In 43rd minute, from a Lalkamal pass, Barreto’s shot was saved by onrushing keeper. In first half, Oil India got 6 corners and Mariners got 2 corners.

Coach Kareem made double substitution after lemon break bringing on Ishfaq and Lalampuia in place of Lalkamal and Tulunga respectively. Tulunga should have been replaced much earlier. Mohun Bagan went from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 with Lalampuia added as extra forward. This change of strategy worked wonders as Mariners played inspiring football in 2nd half. In 51st minute, from a Habibur long throw, Ishfaq took a shot and off deflection, Baichung got a loose ball in box but his shot was slightly out of target but Oil India defence failed to clear the ball properly and Marcos got the ball with only goalkeeper to beat but his shot went straight to goalkeeper. In 55th minute, Barreto scored the winning goal for Mohun Bagan. Baichung took a back volley from Marcos corner which hit hand of Jyotish in goalline and off rebound Barreto pushed the ball in goal but referee instead of playing advantage and allowing the goal gave penalty in favor of Mohun Bagan. However, Barreto, as cool as a cucumber, scored from the penalty. In 59th minute, from a Marcos corner, Baichung back headed the ball which Masih took a head but it went straight to goalkeeper. In 63rd minute, Mariners again combined well when Baichung passed the ball to Lalampuia in left flank, Lalam ran down the flank and from his center, Barreto chest passed the ball to Baichung but his shot was well intercepted by Oil India defence. In 71st minute, Baichung missed the easiest chance of the match when from a Ishfaq through pass he could not push the ball inside goal with only goalkeeper to beat. In 77th minute, Marcos lobbed the ball towards Lalam who again ran past Oil India defence and gave a nice pass to Barreto who positioned himself nicely and took a shot from outside box which narrowly missed target. In 81st minute, it was Lalam in action again when he gave a cross to Baichung but he fumbled with the ball and Oil India defence cleared the ball. Minutes before the end of match, Vashan got injured. It is not certain whether he will be able to play in the next match or not. Mohun Bagan thus won the match 2-1 and got 3 points. In another match of the group, Air India defeated Vasco 1-0.

It is now to be seen which strategy Kareem will prefer in the next match, 4-4-2 or 4-3-3. Kareem has to be given credit as it has been proved again that his match reading is good and he changes strategy nicely according to the requirement of the team. Mohun Bagan will next play against Vasco on 14th at 5.30 pm.

TEAM: Sangram, Habibur, Vashan, Dipak, Mohanraj, Lalkamal (Ishfaq 46), Masih, Marcos, Tulunga (Lalampuia 46), Baichung, Barreto


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