Mohun Bagan 3-2 Aizawl FC: Bagan Edge Out Aizawl FC In A Thrilling Encounter
Mohun Bagan held their nerves to edge out Aizawl FC 3-2 in a thrilling encounter at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium on Saturday.
Duffy(1’, 84’) bagged a brace for the home side while Jeje (63’) also once again got his name on the scoresheet. Jayesh Rane (41’) and Ashutosh Mehta (70’) scored a goal each to level the score twice.
Mohun Bagan were missing the services of Haitian talisman, Sony Norde and Eduardo for this game who both are nursing their injuries.
Bagan started with their usual 4-4-2 formation with Jeje and Duffy spearheading the attack. Aizawl started with a 4-5-1 formation, making it crystal clear that their strategy would be to outnumber Bagan in the midfield.
Bagan were under pressure to perform as their arch rivals and title contenders East Bengal managed to notch up consecutive wins, dethroning Bagan from the top spot in the standings. The Mariners meant business from the first whistle as they got their lead in the opening minute itself. Katsumi Yusa floated a cross from the left which Duffy calmly met with his head to find the back of the net, taking his goal tally this season to 5 goals.
Bagan could have doubled their lead in the 23rd minute when Prabir Das found an open net in front of him but his effort on goal was nowhere near the target.
Aizawl were slowly looking to claw their way into the match as they conjured some good attacking moves but lacked the finishing at the end of it.
They got a golden opportunity to equalise in the 27th minute when Jayesh Rane’s cross was fisted away by Debjit, with the ball falling for Jaryan who blasted it over the bar.
Aizawl finally got their much anticipated equaliser in the 41st minute when an onrushing Jayesh Rane guided the the ball home off a square ball from Kamo, sending the Kolkata based Aizawl fans into frenzy.
Things got worse for Bagan in the dying embers of the first half as Kingshuk Debnath had to be subbed off due to an injury.
Surprisingly it was the away side who looked the better side in the start of the second half with Aizawl taking complete control over proceedings. Alfred Jaryan was pulling the strings in the midfield as Bagan looked nervy for the first time in the match.
Bagan, however, managed to take the lead against the run of play in the 63rd minute when Jeje scored for the hosts. The move started with Pronay Haldar who played a through ball to the wing to find Prabir Das who made a darting run before whipping in a low cross to an umarked Jeje inside the box who placed the ball in the back of the net with inch-perfect precision.
Bagan’s lead didn’t last long as Ashutosh Mehta restored parity in the 70th minute with a header from a Jayesh Rane corner.
With the match hanging in the balance Katsumi Yusa decided to take matters into his own hand, making a darting run cutting inside the box from the left wing. His pace was too much for Mehta to take as he brought down Katsumi inside the box, thus giving away a penalty in the process.
Scottish striker Darryl Duffy stepped up to blast the ball in the bottom right corner, restoring the lead for Bagan.
Bagan managed to hang on to their lead for the remainder of the match to eke out an all important win.
Aizawl FC, despite the loss, can take heart from this performance away from home.
Man of The Match : Prabir Das
FeverPitch’s Man of The Match : Darryl Duffy.