Air India ended Mohun Bagan’s semifinal dreams beating the latter 2-0 despite playing with 10 men for 78 minutes in the second group-B league match at Siliguri.
Air India lost its defender John Dias, who was sent off in the 12th minute for apparently showing violent reaction to a decision by referee Vishnu Chauhan. The Mumbai-based side showed good resilience and reorganised itself well against a full-strength Mohun Bagan to find the lead in the 28thminute.
Air India striker Elijah Junior was favoured by luck as his shot rebounded into the net after taking body of Mohun Bagan defender Anyichie Elkezo.
Mohun Bagan’s efforts to find the equaliser went in vain as Air India bolstered its defence employing more men. Air India goalkeeper Sukhwinder Singh also did a brilliant job saving at least three saves on attempts from Okolie Odafa (30th), Jewel Raja (33rd) and C.S. Sabeeth (72nd). As Bagan went all out equaliser putting more strength in attack, Air India launched a perfect counter-attack to make it 2-0 in the 86th minute. Henry Ezeh picked up a long clearance from the defence and made a free run of almost 40 yards to score.
The result ended 13-time champion Mohun Bagan’s hopes, as the team tallied just one point from two matches to be at the bottom of the group table. Churchill Brothers (four points) remained on top of the table while Mohammedan Sporting and Air India immediately behind remained on three.
(AIFF Press Release)
Follow me on Social Media