Report : Chennai City 1-2 Mohun Bagan
Mohun Bagan earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory after newcomers Chennai FC put on a spirited display against the runners of the precursor edition of I-league.
Marcos Vinicius gave the hosts the lead, early in the second half, when he beautifully placed the ball into the net making the fullest use of an acute window between Debjit and the post.
Jeje restored parity for the visitors, when he flicked in a delightful ball from Sony Norde. Norde gave Mohun Bagan the much needed lead after he latched on to a defence-splitting pass from Balwant Singh and calmly shot the ball past an advancing Karanjit Singh to make it 2-1 for the visitors.
Despite a belligerent display in the first half, Mohun Bagan failed to make any inroads against the airtight defense of Chennai. Karanjit Singh, the veteran custodian of Chennai played an imperative role in keeping the visitors at bay. Karanjit even thwarted a penalty from Sony Norde after he went diving to the right to keep things in motion for the hosts.
Chennai could have had an early lead when Charles was fed a lovely ball from the Chennai rearguard. However, Subhasish Bose, the U-22 sensation for Bagan, casted his body on the line and blocked the shot.
Bagan came up with an immediate retort when Subhasish Bose whipped in a long ball for Norde, who latched on to it but his shot was thwarted by Karanjit Singh.
From there it was one-way traffic after Sony Norde and Katsumi Yusa took inexorable runs down the flanks and kept on bedeviling the hosts with minatory crosses.
Charles again came close to accord the lead to Chennai after he was teed up by a long ball from Dhanpal Ganesh. Expected to do better on a one-on-one situation, he shot the ball at Debjit and before he could have reached for the rebound, Bikramjit Singh came from behind to clear any further danger that could have loomed in front of Bagan.
Bagan had the best chance of the game when they were awarded a penalty. Darryl Duffy whipped in a delightful long ball for Sony Norde, who caught it on the run and sped past Joseph Clemente. Clemente, after failing to stymie Norde ended up tripping the Haitian international. Norde stepped up to the colossal task of the spot-kick but was denied any glory when Karanjit Singh stamped his authority, saving the shot diving down the right.
The second half saw a transformed Chennai side when they were much more effusive in the midfield and the Brazilian duo upfront seemed a lot more menacing.
Marcos Vinicius who is dotingly called as Tank, drew first blood after he snatched the ball from his Brazilian counterpart, Eduardo Ferreira. Tank went on from there and placed the ball into the net with clinical precision, sending the home crowd into frenzy.
However, their elations were transient after Sony Norde ran rings around the defenders as he dodged past three defenders with brilliance and then nutmegged another defender to square off Jeje who flicked the ball in, to restore parity.
Balwant Singh who later came on as a substitute for an injured Darryl Duffy spawned a defense sundering through ball for Norde, who did exceptionally well to latch on to it and slam it past an onrushing Karanjit Singh.
Charles would rue his miss in the dying embers of the game after his shot was brilliantly saved by Debjit Majumder to deny them the share of the spoils.
The score-line could have been a lot more emphatic for Bagan only if Prabir Das would have managed to keep his calm and slam the ball home when Norde whipped in a stellar cross. Prabir in a cursory shot it for the stars.
Despite the upshot going against Chennai in the game, they will definitely leave the field with a lot of heart as they made proceedings real tough for Bagan.
Marcos Vinicius was adjudged as the hero of the match for his impeccable goal.
M.O.M – Marcos Vinicius.
Feverpitch’s M.O.M – Karanjit Singh.