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Rediff.com  » Sports » I-League: Holders Mohun Bagan off to flier

I-League: Holders Mohun Bagan off to flier

January 09, 2016 19:56 IST

Sunil Chhetri

IMAGE: Bengaluru FC 's Sunil Chhetri, left, celebrates with team mate at Vasco on Saturday. Photograph: AIFF Media

Defending champions Mohun Bagan easily defeated debutants Aizawl FC 3-1 to begin their campaign with a bang in the I-League football tournament opener at Vidyasagar Krirangan, Kolkata, on Saturday.

Mohun Bagan's new signing Cornell Glenn struck the opening goal of the I-League in the fifth minute before completing a brace in the 21st, while Balwant Singh completed the rout eight minutes later as the title holders sealed the issue in the first-half itself.

The newly-promoted Mizoram outfit, cheered on by about 100-odd spectators, put up a full strength squad with Alfred Jayran as sole forward, but he failed to convert any of the chances and it was Mohun Bagan defender Pritam Kotal who reduced the margin with an own goal in the 17th minute.

The title-holders, thus, opened their account with three points while the debutants were also impressive, but it was their inexperience that proved costly.

Bengaluru FC beat Salgaocar 2-1

Last edition's runner-up Bengaluru FC got off to a positive start as they scored a goal in each half to down Salgaocar 2-1 in their inaugural match in Vasco, Goa.

Bengaluru FC, who held upper hand throughout the match, created numerous chances and took the lead in the 5th minute through C K Vineeth.

Darryl Duffy restored parity in the 41st minute.

They could have won by a bigger margin, had it not been for rival keeper Karanjit Singh, who brought off good saves.

Sunil Chhetri scored the match winner in the 60th minute off a free kick after Gurjinder Kumar handed the ball just outside the box.

Bengaluru FC started briskly and kept the early pressure on their opponents with C K Vineeth and Kim Song Yong combining well upfront.

The home team scored when Jackichand Singh won a penalty after being felled by Eugenson Lyndoh from behind. Duffy, who took the penalty, beat keeper Raltte on the wrong side.

Salgaocar coach Malcolm Thomson, in order to add thrust upfront, brought in Manandeep Singh in place of Alesh Sawant, but the latter looked little rusty.

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