Though a late goal gave Salgaocar some hope, the Mariners held their nerve to secure their first win in the league...Mohun Bagan notched up their first victory in the I-League this season, putting away an in-form Salgaocar side 2-1 at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.
With Odafa Okolie unavailable for the tie, Harrison Eric Muranda started with CS Sabeeth upfront while Yusa Katsumi was employed in his usual position in the hole behind the strikers.
For the visitors, the prolific striker Daryl Duffy was the center of attention given his good form of late. Claude Gnakpa was included in the starting eleven this time around as he recovered from a stomach upset.
The home team started the match in good spirit with an early move that could have earned them the first goal. Muranda pulled the trigger from inside the box but the ball went well off target.
The affair became drab as time went on with both teams misplacing a few passes which hampered their build-up play. Though the Green and Maroons had the better share of possession, their efforts were in vain as they failed to find the final ball.
The best chance of the first half fell to the visitors when they attacked the Bagan defense down the right. Francis Fernandes played in a good cross from the flank and goalkeeper Shilton Paul beaten by it. However before the onrushing Duffy could arrive, an alert Kingshuk Debnath cleared the ball. The first half ended goalless though the home side looked a bit more comfortable in possession.
It took Bagan not more than 10 minutes after play resumed to go into the lead. Denson Devadas floated the ball to the box which Cartan Costa attempted to clear but his weak header fell to Sabeeth who placed it over the advancing Karanjit Singh.
This gave Bagan the lead and the edge in the game. Katsumi Yusa took his opportunity soon after as he scored a scorcher from inside the box which nestled in the far corner thereby doubling the lead for the Mariners.
However, there was to be a sting in the tail as Darryl Duffy converted a spot-kick in the dying minutes to create panic among the Bagan faithful, after Debnath brought him down in the box.
It was a nervy ending for Bagan as Denson Devadas picked up two yellow cards in three minutes to receive his marching orders. The first one was very unprofessional as he got involved himself in an argument with the referee while the second was for a foul.
With this win, Mohun Bagan climb up the ladder to reach the eighth spot, while Salgaocar were relegated to their first defeat of the season.