Thursday, October 29, 2009

I-League: Mohun Bagan Come Back To Beat Shillong Lajong

The 30, 000 home supporters were left disappointed as their side went down, though they gave a good account of themselves...

Mohun Bagan came back to beat Shillong Lajong 2-1 to win their third match on a trot in the fifth round I-League match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong.

In-form Chidi Edeh cancelled Aibor Khongee’s spot-kick with Marcos Pereira winning it for the Green and Maroons with a gem of a free-kick.

It was a game between two sides that had the same number of points from as many games but while one was a seasoned campaigner, the other was a newcomer.

For the home side, Gumpe Rime was suspended which saw Markus Basumatary between the sticks while Deepak Mandal returned after serving out a two game suspension.

Mohun Bagan will consider themselves lucky as referee P.K.Bose failed to spot a tackle from behind by Mandal on Tuboi as early as in the fourth minute.

The Mariners took time to settle as the pitch didn’t look an I-League material as the bounce was invariable and the hard surface didn’t help the players on either side. From a James Singh flag-kick, Snehashish Chakrabarty had a free header at the near post but it went over the bar on a rare occasion when the Lajong defence was called for action.

The play was sloppy, which was understandable and hence, got the enthusiastic crowd to quieten a bit. Around the half hour mark, a lofted clearance from Suiting saw Tuboi make a brilliant run which was cut short by Biswajit Saha who had to come across to help Rakesh Masih and Deepak Mandal.

Tuboi had another fine run when he foxed Rakesh Masih until Saha doing enough to keep the danger away. In the final minute of the first session, Daniel Bedemi laid the ball for James Giblee shot it wide from inside the box.

Just seven minutes after the break, Tuboi was pulled down from behind by Rakesh Masih inside the area saw the referee have no qualms in pointing to the spot with skipper Aibor Khonjee coolly slotting it into the top corner.

The goal drew instant reaction from the visitors as they began to look more threatening with each passing minute. Aibor gave the ball away dangerously to Chidi whose shot was blocked.

Lajong’s lead lasted for only nine minutes as Snehashish Chakrabarty’s cross saw Chidi put his head to good use at the far post as the marking on him was poor.

A few minutes later, Lajong gave a free-kick just outside the box which Marcos Pereira curled it around the four man wall to break the hearts of the assembled crowd.

Stanley Rosario brought in Michael Bassey for Samson and the move could have clicked after Tuboi sent an overhead pass to the striker in the box but he was adjudged to have fouled a Bagan defender.

Mohun Bagan used their experience as they slowed the pace of the game and played the ball in spaces with Chidi moving intelligently to disturb the composure of the Lajong backline.

Karim Bencherifa made two changes towards the end in his bid to break the play and add more steel to his defence.

Lajong should take heart from their performance as they were the better side for more than half of the game in terms of possession however, it was the experience and opportunism shown by Bagan which killed their chances of pulling off a shocker.

Goalscorers Shillong Lajong: Aibor Khongjee (54th pen)

Mohun Bagan: Chidi Edeh (63rd min) and Marcos Pereira (66th min)