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Bhutia gives Mohun Bagan victory
April 20, 2007 22:05 IST
A ten-man Mohun Bagan rode on Baichung Bhutia's strike to beat Mohammedan Sporting 1-0 in a National Football League match in Kolkata on Friday.
The all-important goal came in the 66th minute, when Ayan Choudhury, who had just replaced Lal Kamal Bhowmick, played a one-two with Bhutia and then released the ball for the talismanic striker to place the ball into the net.
The victory swelled Mohun Bagan's tally to 19 points from 14 games [see league table].
Sporting, who lost their previous game 1-3 to Sporting Clube de Goa, now seem headed for relegation into the second division, having collected only 11 points from 15 outings.
The teams dished out insipid fare for the greater part of the Salt Lake stadium match, though the proceedings livened up somewhat in the latter stages.
Bagan suffered a big jolt in the 40th minute when their goalkeeper, Shilton Paul, was red carded for handling the ball outside the penalty box.
Seeing an onrushing Basudeb Mondal, Paul came out of his area and collected the ball outside the box, prompting the referee to give him marching orders.
Fabio was taken off and Sangram Mukherjee came in as the new goalkeeper.
The match had to be temporarily stopped after the stadium plunged into semi-darkness about five minutes into the second half, as half of the floodlights went off.
The lights were restored fully after 19 minutes and the match resumed.