CPD FOOTBALL | THE BLOG | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Chennai City FC stage a gallant show against nervy Mohun Bagan

Match action during the I-League encounter Chennai City FC v Mohun Bagan AC. (Photo courtesy: I-League Media)

Mohun Bagan AC maintained their unblemished record by downing newcomers Chennai City FC 2-1 on their first away fixture of the I-League season after being pushed all the way.

Chennai City made five changes going into this game as Robin Charles Raja searched for a combination that would give him the elusive goal which has been their problem so far. Karanjit Singh came back in, Amiri recovered from a niggle while Marcos Tank, Edwin and Raju Yumnum were given starts.

Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, made just the one change with Anas missing out with a niggle and Bikramjit Singh took his place.

The first half started at a break-neck pace with chances created at both ends. Norde should have handed Bagan the lead in the 7th minute when he surged into the Chennai box after collecting a pass from Bose but his shot-cum-cross evaded everybody.

Chennai then fashioned a couple of chances when Marcos Tank was sent clear on two occasions. But the burly Brazilian failed to beat Debjit on both occasions.

Karanjit then pulled off two good saves from Darryl Duffy and Sony Norde before Chennai found a foothold in the game. But still, it was the Kolkatan team that looked the most dangerous.

Chennai striker Charles de Souza then failed to finish past Debjit on a one-on-one. Mohun Bagan were then awarded a penalty after Clemente brought down Norde in the box. But Karanjit proved to be the hero again as he guessed the right way to deny the Haitian again in the 38th minute.

In what was a blow for Chennai, captain Ravanan was injured late in the first half, with Denson Devadas replacing him. The first half finished goalless.

The second half saw Chennai surprise Mohun Bagan in the 52nd minute. Eduardo was caught out by Tank who won the ball down the right wing corner flag and surged into the box. His tame shot, though, crept inside the near post with Debjit at fault.

But Mohun Bagan equalised within 4 minutes when Norde did well to trick Clemente and found Duffy inside the box. The Scotsman’s shot was blocked but Jeje Lalpekhlua was on hand to volley home from close range.

The momentum of the game went down a bit after Jeje’s goal, thanks to several substitutions and Chennai City looked threatening at times. On one such occasion, Bikramjit had to intercept a through ball from Ganesh towards Charles.

But the Kolkatan side grabbed the winner in the 77th minute after fantastic work from Jeje Lalpekhlua. The Mizo striker slipped Norde through with a sublime through ball and the Haitian slid a cool finish past an advancing Karanjit.

Though Chennai had another chance later, the Mariners held on to notch their fourth consecutive victory while Chennai City FC are still stuck with one point they gained in the opening round.

(Report & Photo courtesy: I-League Media)