Baichung brilliance ensure 3 points for Bagan. Mohun Bagan defeated Mahindra United by a solitary goal scored by captain Baichung Bhutia in th 46 minute off a Lalkamal Bhoumik pass. Mohun Bagan currently stand 2nd in the I-League standings, while Mahindra languish deep down. Marcos was named Man of the Match for his brilliant performance.

Mohun Bagan defeated Mahindra United 1-0 today in an I league match held in Salt Lake Stadium. Baichung scored the winning goal in 46th minute of the match. The match was very exciting and a fast paced one with Mohun Bagan dominating proceedings.

Mahindra started the match in a positive note and first 10 minutes completely belonged to them. In 2nd minute, Pradeep got the ball inside Mohun Bagan’s 6 yard box but his shot went wide. In 8th minute, Mohun Bagan made their first positive attack when Baichung gave the ball to Tulunga in right flank but the latter could not pass the ball back to Baichung who was waiting inside box. Mohun Bagan then slowly started controlling the game and in 12th minute from a Odafe long throw, Tulunga took a shot which deflected off Mahindra defence and went to Barreto whose shot was cleared for corner. In 15th minute, Sangram made a costly error when he missed flight and Sushil took a shot which was saved from goalline by Odafe. In 18th minute, Barreto after a solo run took a dipping shot from about 20 yards out but the ball just went over bar post. In 27th minute, from a Marcos corner, Lalkamal’s head went out, he could have done better as he was standing unmarked in the box.  In 32nd minute, from a Steven Dias free kick, a misunderstanding took place between Odafe and Manju, Sushil got the loose ball and took a shot which was saved by Sangram. In the very next minute, Lalkamal lobbed the ball inside box towards Barreto but he could not get hold of the ball as Tamba, the new foreigner for Mahindra, covered him nicely and allowed the ball to go to goalkeeper. In 40th minute, from a Marcos corner, Tulunga gave a pass to Barreto who missed an easy chance to score with goalkeeper at his mercy. Just before lemon break, Masih chest trapped the ball nicely and it went to Baichung who took a shot but it was very well defended by Pradeep and cleared for safety. Mahindra played better during initial part of the half but then Mohun Bagan came back strongly in the match due to great play by their midfield.

Mohun Bagan went ahead in the very 1st minute of the 2nd half. Marcos got the ball in midfield and gave a pass to Tulunga in right flank who took a low center that went to Lalkamal in left who in turn took a shot that went towards Baichung inside box.  Mahindra defenders could not clear the ball properly and Baichung who was standing with his back towards the goal brilliantly turned and took a low left footer which went into far corner of the post with goalkeeper having absolutely no chance to save the ball, a brilliant execution indeed from the captain. Mahindra coach then made 2 changes in quick succession bringing Chiddi and Paresh. In 56th minute, from a Marcos center, Baichung tried a bicycle kick but could not connect the ball. In 58th minute, Mohun Bagan was denied a penalty when Barreto was clearly tripped inside the box by Debabrata Roy but referee completely ignored the incident. In 62nd minute, from a Tulunga center, Baichung back headed the ball towards Barreto who shot wide from close distance. Soon after, Steven had a great run down right flank and his center was tantalizingly close as Habibur just managed to clear the ball for corner. In the next minute, Sushil missed the easiest chance of the match but Sangram narrowed the angle and saved a certain goal. In 77th minute, Dipak dribbled the ball beautifully and dissected into Mahindra’s defence and gave a pass towards Barreto but he just could not reach and Subhashish made a timely save. Derek Perreira then brought in Rafi in place of Sushil Singh but Mohun Bagan defence played well and denied Mahindra the equalizer. Marcos was named Man of the Match. After Marcos has joined Mariners this season, they have played 6 matches out of which they have won 5, a great record indeed to boast about. For Mohun Bagan, Dipak Mandal and Sangram was shown yellow card and will miss their next match against Chirag United. Referee also gave caution to Sushant Matthew and Debabrata Roy of Mahindra United. Mohun Bagan now has 18 points from 10 matches and are now in 2nd position in the league table with Mahindra only 9 points and placed in 9th position. Mohun Bagan will next play against Chirag on Saturday.


Derek Perreira said, "We are playing well but due to poor finish we are placed in the bottom half of the table. Today I thought of using Chiddi as a replacement in 2nd half but the plan did not work. I have to go on trying so that strikers start converting the chances that they are getting into goals. I am really disappointed." He refused to comment on refereeing. Karim on the other hand looked elated and said, "I am very happy with the way the boys are fighting. We have developed a great team spirit and this is an important factor for our 5th back to back win. The goal was a brilliant one indeed. In fact whole team played well. Yes, initial 10-15 minutes, we could not play to our game plan but slowly we took control of the game. I was more worried of these 3 matches against JCT, Vasco and Mahindra as they were scheduled in quick succession but we managed to get full points from all the matches. Now we have few days time to prepare before Chirag match. The players who have played all the six matches I am giving them 2 days rest but the other players will join practice on Wednesday." When asked about Baichung, Kareem said, "I have to see how serious is  his injury, may be this is the cramp on his calf muscle, though I have to check on the report." When asked about referreeing, he said, "The referees are following some rules so strictly eg. whenever I am going out towards the side line to give instruction, they are asking me to come back, which is perfect but they should also be more consistent in giving fouls and penalties and cards. Every team has issue with referee."


TEAM: Sangram, Dipak, Odafe, Manju, Habibur, Lalkamal (Rahul Kumar 74), Masih, Marcos, Tulunga, Barreto (Kartick 93), Baichung (Lalampuia 90).

PICTURE COURTESY: Bartaman Patrika


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