Mohun Bagan AC climbed back to the top of the table after a night, following a 2-0 victory against Dempo SC in the Hero I-League at the Yuva Bharati Krirangan Saltlake Stadium, Kolkata on Sunday.
Sanjoy Sen elected to start with Pankaj Moula down the left in the absence of the suspended Sony Norde while Sukhen Dey was drafted in the squad as Pritam Kotal was selected for the India U-23 national team.
Trevor Morgan returned to his favourite hunting ground with Alwyn George playing the lone man upfront supported by Carlos Hernandez and Francis Fernandes behind. Calum Angus failed a last minute fitness check and did not feature in the matchday squad.
The match started with the Green and Maroon brigade going for the jugular especially with young Sehnaj Singh and Souvik Chakraborty bossing the proceedings in the centre of the park.
The game was relatively devoid of chances in the opening minutes, in spite of the one-sided dominance. Katsumi had a half chance in the 19th minute as his volley from just outside the box went inches wide after an enterprising Balwant Singh laid it down for him.
It was from a corner that Sanjoy Sen’s men had the lead. Katsumi had swung in a delightful ball which both Clifford Miranda and Laxmikant Kattimani in goal completely missed. It was Dhanachandra Singh who reacted well on the far post as he smashed home the rebound with ease in the 28th minute.
Two minutes later, it was another chance for the home side as from another Katsumi corner, Pierre Boya managed to thump in a header which Francis chested out, on the goal line.
The first real chance for the Superwhites came after the lemon break when Jewel Raja broke expertly down the right and took advantage of some sloppy defending from Dhanachandra there to slide in a great grounded ball towards Francis. It was good alert goal keeping from Debjit Majumder there who came out and smothered it just in time to save the danger.
It was all Dempo in the second half though although the final ball was lacking in most cases. In the 80th minute Carlos Hernandez found Haroon Amiri open on the near post whose glancing header was saved well by Laxmikant Kattimani.
Five minutes later it was game set and match for Balwant Singh and company as Katsumi Yusa was brought down by Amiri on the left side. The Japanese took the set piece himself and swung in a delightful ball which was headed smartly by Balwant who rose up the highest among Kattimani and Amiri both of whom went for it.
However it was not all over as controversy soured the exciting encounter when Sehnaj put in a clumsy sliding tackle on Carlos from behind which the Costa Rican got up and retaliated leading to a free for all from both sides. While the referees did enough to break it up, both Sehnaj and Carlos were given their marching orders.
(Report & Picture courtesy I-League Media)