I-League : DSK 0-0 Mohun Bagan
A lacklustre Mohun Bagan dropped two crucial points against DSK Shivajians at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune on Tuesday.
None of the teams could break the deadlock as both teams wasted easy opportunities. It was the home side who got the maximum number of chances as Bagan were not really their usual self tonight.
Starting the match in a 4-5-1 formation was a tactical masterstroke from Dave Rogers, who knew the importance of dominating the midfield against a team like Mohun Bagan. Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, started with their usual 4-4-2 formation with Yusa and Norde deployed on the wings. Bagan could hardly get hold of the game in the middle of the park as DSK, with their 5 man midfield, took control.
Bagan's talismanic winger Sony Norde had a match to forget as he was heavily marked by Nirmal Chhetri, who rolled back the years with his performance. As a result, the link-up between the midfield and the attack was missing for Bagan.
The home side were the ones who could choreograph threatening moves and almost initiated the scoring in the 40th minute when Kim hit the post and the rebound was blasted over by Juan Quero.
Dave Rogers, sensing that his side can pull an upset here, introduced Chhangte in the second half. Chhangte was like a live wire on the pitch and marked his introduction immediately with a low driven shot at goal which was instinctively saved by the Bagan custodian.
Sanjoy Sen shifted to plan-B in the 75th minute when he withdrew Jeje Lalpekhlua, who barely touched the ball in the whole game, and introduced Prabir Das in his place. This change meant that Katsumi took more of a central position to act as the link between the attack and the midfield. The plan seemed to work as Bagan finally managed to create chances. However, it wasn't to be their day as Bose's piledriver of a shot hit the woodwork and Katsumi shot from 8 yards out went straight to Poirei.
The match thus finished 0-0 with both sides having mixed feelings about it. DSK clearly came out on top in this tactical battle and Dave Rogers can take heart from this performance.
However, Bagan are still top of the table with 13 points from 5 matches, whereas DSK are in 6th place having garnered 5 points from equal number of games.
Man of the Match : Sasa
Feverpitch's Man of the Match : Nirmal Chhetri