|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Mohun Bagan edge Mahindra
January 05, 2008 21:24 IST
A solitary goal by Brazilian striker Jose Barreto helped Mohun Bagan beat Mahindra United 1-0 in their ninth round match of the ONGC [Get Quote] I-League and keep their title hopes alive in Kolkata on Saturday.
With much talked about Baichung-Barreto combination scheming well, Bagan forced a number of good moves and could have won with a bigger margin at Yuba Bharati Krirangan.
However a stubborn Mahindra deep defense led by NP Pradeep repulsed most of the attacks and on other occasions Bagan made just feeble attempts.
In spite of the absence of their star striker Yakubu, who is still nursing an injury, Mahindra also made some good moves which were well tackled by Bagan defenders, particluarly by Peter Odafa, who was later adjudged Man of the Match.
Though play was more confined at the midfield in the first half, it was Bagan, which first set up the first goal-bound move in the ninth minute.
But a powerfull left footer by Dharamjit was saved by Mahindra keeper Sandip Nandy.
Nandy again made a fine save off Dharamjit a minute before the breather.
With 14 points from nine outings, Bagan are now at the fourth position and seven points behind the league leader Dempo Sports Club of Goa [Images].
JCT and Churchill Brothers are at the second and third spots with 19 and 16 points from nine and eight matches respectively.
Mahindra are now behind Bagan with eleven points from nine macthes.
The Mumbai outfit also had a look on Bagan goal but Mohammed Rafi's header off Stephen Dias was off the target.
Bagan forced another attempt through Dharamjit off James Singh which was also thwarted by an alert Sandeep.
The second half saw Bagan going all out and making a series of moves through Barreto-Baichung combination, who were ably supported by overlapping defenders.
Bagan finally earned the match-winner in the 67th minute when Barreto headed home a centre-from- right flank by overlapping right back Habibur Rahman (1-0).
Bagan keeper Shailton Paul had to leave the ground after suffering cramps on his thigh in the 83rd minute.
Sangram Mukherjee, who replaced Shilton, managed to keep their fort intact for the rest of the period.