Match Report : Mohun Bagan 3-0 Bengaluru FC
A Yusa Katsumi masterclass helped Mohun Bagan humble Bengaluru FC 3-0 in the 2016/17 I-League at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium in Kolkata, on Saturday.
Both sides welcomed their first choice custodians, as Debjit Majumder and Amrinder Singh returned for Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC respectively. The away side fielded a relatively weaker side, with an aim to keep players fresh for their AFC Cup exploits, resting the likes of Sunil Chhetri and Lenny Rodrigues. Youngsters Azharuddin Mallick and Malsawmzuala got rare starts for the home and away side.
The home side started brightly, continuing the pattern throughout the first half. And Darryl Duffy had a chance to open the scoring in the opening 5 minutes. Pritam Kotal's telling cross was excellently met by the Scottish striker, but it went agonizingly wide. The Mariners would not be denied for long, though. Sony Norde, who is usually a menace for the Blues in the fixture, did well to drift in from the left and feed Yusa Katsumi. The veteran Japanese took a punt from outside the box which was too hot for Amrinder Singh as the ball squirmed under the Blues' goalkeeper's hand. Around ten minutes later, Sanjoy Sen's charges doubled their lead. Norde's free-kick from the left found an unmarked Duffy, who promptly nodded past a glued Amrinder in the Bengaluru goal. The Blues tried to hit back through their live wire Udanta Singh, but could not conjure up even a single meaningful attack. The first half ended 2-0 in favor of the hosts.
Mohun Bagan continued their dominance through the influential duo of Katsumi and Norde. And the duo combined once again for their sides' third. Norde got past a hurdle of players cutting in from the left on a counter and fed Katsumi on his way. The Japanese took a shot from inside the box which beat Amrinder once again. The goal was a carbon copy of the first goal, only for the exception of Amrinder's hand on its way. The Mariners heaped more pressure on the fading Blues, and Norde had the ball in the net after the hour mark, but he was offside. Albert Roca tried to alter his tactics by introducing Marjan Jugovic and Mandar Rao Dessai, but the defensive stoutness of Eduardo Fereira and Anas Edathodika meant the Blues were denied even a consolation.
Hero Of The Match: Yusa Katsumi
FeverPitch Man Of The Match: Sony Norde