The Green and Maroon would be a disappointed lot having dropped two crucial points at home against the north east brigade...
Mohun Bagan threw away their lead twice in the game to allow Shillong Lajong to take away an important point in their fight for saving the drop. Tolgay Ozbey’s opener was cancelled out by Boithang Haokip in the next minute itself while Manish Maithani’s belter didn’t win the three points as a defensive lapse allowed Lalhimthara to score the equaliser.
Karim Bencherifa made three changes to his side from the last game as Shilton Paul replaced Arindam Bhattacharya in goal, Nirmal Chettri returned from suspension while Sushant Matthew made his first appearance from the Mariners in the I-League.
Thangboi Singto preferred a 4-4-2 formation with Sushil Singh and Edinho Junior starting upfront.
It was the away side who started better as they pressed high up the pitch and never really allowed them to settle.
However that period lasted only for about five-to-ten minutes as thereafter it was the Mariners who dominated the possession but failed to come up with a chance of note.
Bencherifa was often seen asking his midfield to drop deep to collect the ball from the defence which wasn’t happening as much as he would have liked.
It was in the 26th minute that the first real opportunity was created by the home side when Nirmal Chettri did well to send in a cross from the right which saw Syed Nabi head into the side-netting at the far post.
Three minutes later, Lajong had a chance to restore parity from an Eugeson Lynghdoh flag-kick which was headed over by Minchol Son despite being unmarked inside the box.
Edinho made his mark in the 37th minute when he foxed two Bagan defenders and his effort was thwarted by an alert Shilton Paul.
In the 43rd minute, Sushil Singh’s ball was flicked on by Ichezona Anyichie which was trapped well by Taisuke Matsugane but his shot went inches wide.
Just before the half-time, Lajong had an another decent opportunity when a cross from the left fell at the feet of Lyngdoh who waited for far too long and eventually gave the ball away under pressure from the Bagan defence.
The breakthrough eventually came seven minutes after the re-start when Sabeeth released Ozbey, who under pressure from Subhash Singh, held his ground and scored with his first touch.
Lajong didn’t waste much time and scored the equaliser in the very next minute when Boithang Haokip cut inside from the left and shot towards the far post leaving Paul no chance whatsoever to make a save.
Bagan continued to press and rewarded in the 61st minute. Biswajit Saha’s cross was headed by Wailadmi Passah which fell for substitute Manish Maithani who volleyed it home with a top finish.
Singto brought in PC Lalhlimthara and the substitute wasted no time in getting on the scoresheet. Haokip was once again in the mix by sending in a floated which was flicked on by an unmarked Lalhlimthara which beat Paul in goal to make it 2-2.
The game ended with the same scoreline as Bagan have moved on to 10 points from 17 games while Lajong have 21 from 22 matches.
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