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Mohun Bagan Return To Winning Ways With 2-0 Win Against Aizawl FC

Sunday, 7 January 2018|Abhishek Mukherjee

Mohun Bagan finally returned to winning ways in the I-League courtesy of two second-half strikes against the defending champions Aizawl FC at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata on Sunday.

A goal from Dicka(75') and an own-goal from Afghan defender Masih(53') gave Bagan the much needed three points to kickstart a new-era under their new coach Sankarlal Chakraborty.

Going into the match Bagan's new gaffer, Sankarlal Chakraborty made as many as six changes to the lineup that started against Chennai City FC. Arjit Bagui, Kinshuk Debnath, Cameron Watson, Raynier Fernandes, Nikhil Kadam and Dipendu Dowary come in place of Abhishek Das, Rana Gharami, Shilton D'Silva, Sourav Das, Azharuddin Mullick and Sk Faiaz.

Australian Cameron Watson made his debut for the Mariners at the heart of the midfield as Bagan shifted to their customary 4-4-2 formation. Meanwhile, defending champions Aizawl FC started with a 4-2-3-1 formation. 

Bagan's attacking duo of Kromah and Dicka had been missing the mark off late but a fresh start under a new coach provided them with an opportunity to silence the critics. However, an array of missed chances in the first half didn't help their cause. The duo wasted two golden opportunities in the opening quarter much to the frustration of the Bagan supporters. 

On the other hand, Aizawl could have taken a shock lead in the 14th minute when Kareem unleashed a lethal long-ranger from 40 yards out but was denied by the bar. 

However, the best opportunity in the first half fell to Bagan in the 38th minute when Kingsley's header from a corner kick looked destined to go in but Aizawl's Mama made a goalline save to deny the Nigerian. 

At the breather, the scoreline read 0-0. 

Upon resumption, both teams looked to break the deadlock. However, it was the home side that drew first blood in the 53rd minute courtesy of an own goal from Afghan defender Masih Saighani, who failed to clear Ricky's cross from the left and accidentally put the ball into his own net. 

The opening goal gave Bagan the much-needed confidence, as they looked to double their lead. Bagan almost did double the lead in the 61st-minute when Kromah found an open net in front of him, but his headed attempt at goal was denied by the bar.  

Bagan did get their elusive second goal in the 75th minute when Nikhil Kadam's lobbed ball found Dicka through on goal who skipped past an onrushing Avilash Paul to place the calmly in the back of the net. 

The match thus finished 2-0 in favour of the Mariners who climbed to the fourth spot of the league standings with 13 points from 8 matches, 4 points behind league leaders East Bengal. Aizawl, on the other hand, are at the sixth spot with 10 points from 6 matches. 

Bagan will next clash horns with Minerva Punjab at home on 10th January, while Aizawl will host Chennai City FC on 13th January.