Mohun Bagan beat Vasco today 3-0 in an I league match held in Barasat Stadium. Ishfaq, Barreto and Manju scored the goals for Mohun Bagan. Mohun Bagan now has 40 points from 20 matches. They will play their next I league match against Dempo on March 12th. Tomorrow coach Karim has given day off from practice. Saturday practice is at 8.30 am and Sunday at 3 pm.

                        Mohun Bagan today defeated Vasco 3-0 in an I league match held in Barasat Stadium. Ishfaq, Barreto and Manju scored the goals for Mohun Bagan. However, surprisingly it was Vasco who dominated proceedings for first 20 minutes and looked to pile pressure on the host. The team from Goa got their first corner in 2nd minute and in the next minute, Mohun Bagan had a lucky escape when due to a defensive lapse by Odafe, Nazarov got a through pass inside box and lobbed the ball nicely which took Sangram by surprise and hit the crossbar and went out. Few minutes later a cross from right side found Nazarov unmarked inside box but he headed out. Barreto was heavily marked by Vasco defence today but Barreto cleverly changed position with James Singh and started operating down the right flank and then in 11th minute Mohun Bagan got their first positive chance when Ishfaq missed the easiest chance of the match. Barreto crossed the ball from right flank which Ishfaq dived nicely to connect the ball but somehow headed the ball out with goalkeeper beaten all ends up. Manju also brilliantly headed a ball from Ishfaq center but goalkeeper fully stretched to his right to make a timely save. In 30th minute, this time it was Dipak from whose center Marcos made a diving header which beat goalkeeper but hit the post. Apparently, it seemed Marcos could have opted for the option of taking a shot but indeed the attempt was a good one. Mohun Bagan was pressing hard and scored the first goal in 42nd minute. Baichung got a loose ball in midfield, ran a few paces, saw unmarked Barreto and gave a well measured pass towards the latter in the right flank. Barreto took the ball, got past one player, paused for a second, looked up to see the position of his fellow strikers inside box and then brilliantly chipped the ball that curled and went straight to Ishfaq. Ishfaq timed the header to perfection that went to far corner of the net, thus Mohun Bagan went 1-0 up. The scored remained same in halftime.





The initial 10 minutes of the second half belonged to Vasco who had more possession of the ball. Rakesh Masih was not in his usual good form today and Karim made a brilliant change by bringing on Lalkamal in place of Rakesh in 54th minute and Mohun Bagan again came back strongly in the match. Lalkamal had a great match today and his inclusion resulted into great dividend for Mohun Bagan. In 55th minute, Lalkamal gave a pass to Ishfaq who in turn released the ball from left that Baichung headed down for Barreto but his shot went wide. In 60th minute, this time the center came from right side via James-Habibur combination but due a misunderstanding between Ishfaq and Barreto, the chance went begging. Mariners scored their second goal in 62nd minute. Baichung gave a brilliant through pass to Barreto who was equally efficient in his task and went past Vasco goalkeeper and cool headedly finished by taking a right footed shot and making it 2-0 in favor of Mariners. Karim then brought in Branco in place of Barreto in 65th minute. In 70th minute, from a Lalkamal corner, Baichung leaped well to head the ball but again it was Vasco goalkeeper who saved by fisting the ball over the bar. In 74th minute, Ishfaq made a solo run and got inside box but then he was clearly tripped by Vasco defenders (replay showed there was no contact with the ball) but surprisingly referee gave the decision in favor of Vasco. In 81st minute, Mohun Bagan got a corner kick, Lalkamal took a short corner and Marcos curled the ball in for Manju who nicely connected the ball via his right foot to push it inside goal making the scoreline 3-0. In 82nd minute, Ishfaq who also had a great match was exhausted and replaced by Lalampuia. Few minuts before final whistle, Branco gave a pass to Baichung who slightly fumbled and the ball was cleared for safety. The match ended with Mohun Bagan winning 3-0. A big surprise came with the decision of Man of the Match. Vasco goalkeeper got the award which surprised many, it should have been given to Barreto, Ishfaq, Baichung or Lalkamal.





After the match in press conference, when asked if Mohun Bagan still has a chance to win I league, Karim said, "Unfortunately the ball is not in our court now. We will definitely have to win the next 2 matches and will try to put pressure on Churchill. In football anything can happen. Last year, I missed the title by a whisker and the team which I was coaching, Churchill, fumbled in the last 2 rounds." Karim praised the fight put up by Vasco saying "Definitely Vasco played well, especially in 1st half. They are already relegated but still for spirit of game they played well. I hope all the teams do this and not only for their own interest, but for the sake of true spirit put up a fight in all the matches." He also commented, "Definitely my players are under a lot of pressure and playing in Kolkata is a big pressure as whereever they go, they are always hearing one thing – You have to win all the matches. Today in 1st half, few players looked a little stiff, nervous and was making mistakes under pressure." When asked about his team’s goal average, Karim said, "I have no complaint about the goals missed, they are part and parcel of the game. I am happy that team has collected 3 full points from this match." On his preparation for AFC cup, he said, "Now we will have to think about the AFC cup. Last two matches in AFC cup we played well but unluckily lost both the matches. We proved that we can match those teams."



TEAM: Sangram, Dipak, Odafe, Manju, Habibur, Ishfaq (Lalampuia 82), Masih (Lalkamal 54), Marcos, James Singh Sr., Baichung, Barreto (Branco 65)

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