Mohun Bagan’s hopes for the iLeague title suffered a blow Sunday with a 2-1 road loss to Prayag United. Vincent and Deepak scored for Prayag while Anwar scored the lone goal for Bagan. Prayag outplayed Bagan thanks to ex-mariners – Deepak, James and Sankar Oraon. Bagan’s second consecutive loss from three matches in the second leg makes Bagan behind Prayag now – and is now with 27 points from 16 matches and has moved to the fifth position of the leagu table.

Prayag has dashed Jose Barreto’s hopes of a dream return and winning the iLeague titl before he hangs up his boots. Vincent had given Prayag a lead in the 16th minute when he headed the ball into the goal from a James Singh corner. Sangram had taken away his eyes from the ball during this goal.

In the 19th minute Anwar scored a goal from 9 yards to find the equaliser.

Soon Prayag started operating from down the middle – and Bagan players, in absence of Nabi Jewel and Masih had no ideas how to stop them. There was a surprised change in Bagan’s team in the 40th minute when Gouranga Dutta replaced manish Bhargav.

However the first half ended in 1-1.

In the second half Deepak moved to the right to stop Lima’s movements while Arnab and Razzac went for a double coverage for Odafa. It seemed Prayag coach did not bother covering Jose Barreto who is slow and seem to have lost his touch this season!

Deepak scored a brilliant goal in the s64th minute. His 30 yards shot had beaten Sangram, hit the far post and went in.

The other changes that were done for Bagan were equally surprising – Pradeep for Ashim and Snehasish for Lima. None of them clicked and Prayag ruled the rest of the match to ensure they secure 3 vital points.

Refereeing was also not upto the mark. Once Odafa was in a scoring position and the referee had halted the game for reasons no body understood. Once Yakubu fall down without any reason and Pratap Singh gave a foul in favour of Prayag.

This is the second consecutive game refereeing went wrong against Bagan and in this game also Bagan was deprived of a penalty.

But perhaps it is time the TD must think of using Barreto as a replacement.

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