A Boima Karpeh brace and a misfiring Mohun Bagan frontline gives Oscar Bruzon a creditable away win against the Mariners...
Karim Bencherifa opted to go for a 4-3-1-2 formation with Adil Khan, Denson Devadas and Zakeer Mundampara forming the midfield trio. Katsumi Yusa was given a free role upfront just behind Eric Muranda and CS Sabeeth.
Oscar Bruzon lined up his side in a 4-4-1-1 formation with Rowlin Borges playing in the hole behind the towering Boima Karpeh upfront.
Mohun Bagan had two consecutive chances in the tenth minute to open the scoring only for the profligacy of their frontmen letting them down. First it was Sabeeth who failed to anticipate the cross from Muranda reaching him after some good work down the left and his weak header was nowhere near the target.
Then it was Muranda's turn to be the culprit after he received Zakeer's ball from midfield with ease and with the goalkeeper off his line, he just had to shoot on target. However his effort sailed wide of Ravi Kumar's right post leaving the striker himself perplexed.
Sporting had to punish Bagan for the missed chances and they did that in style in the 17th minute as Cajetan Fernandes latched on to a long Sandip Nandy clearance and played a perfect through-ball to Boima who only had Aiborlang Khongjee to beat. Having effectively shielded the ball he left both Aibor and Sandip for dead and calmly slotted the ball into the empty net.
Merely three minutes later, it was Muranda again who combined with Zakeer but the end result was similar as the Kenyan's shot from the edge of the box flashed wide.
In the 24th minute, Ravi Kumar almost committed a needless foul as he handled outside the box while attempting to throw the ball and Katsumi's ensuing free-kick from the left was tipped over the bar by the custodian from that narrow angle.
There was a repeat of last night's phantom goal in the Bundesliga between Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen as Katsumi twisted and turns down the left and flashed a swerving shot which went in off the side netting but the referee spotted it and declared that it wasn't a goal, just three minutes after the half hour mark.
Five minutes after half time, Cajetan Fernandes had a chance to double the away side's advantage as Boima headed the ball back towards him but his low shot went straight to Sandip Nandy who collected the ball only on his second attempt. Thankfully for the home side, there were no Oranje shirts around.
Amidst a clutch of corners which Mohun Bagan wasted, the next effective opportunity fell to Muranda again who expectedly made a hash of it after Denson had played him through with his shot being deflected for a corner.
Sporting relied on counter attacks certainly showed the Mariners the way to finish off chances as Boima completed his brace in the 78th minute. After being played through by substitute Dawson Fernandes, Boima was clean through but there was still work to be done as he had to escape the attention of Wahid Sali and had Kingshuk Debnath trying to make up lost ground. Sali had infact beaten the Australian for pace but failed to clear the ball and with Sandip Nandy off his line, Karpeh side stepped them and tapped the ball into the empty net with ease.
The Maroon and Green had a lifeline in the 84th minute when Ram Mallik's cross into the box from the right struck the hand of Mathew Gonsalves whose otherwise fine performance took a hit because of this and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. The misfiring Muranda stepped upto the spot and this time buried the spot-kick with ease sending Ravi Kumar the wrong way.
With this win, the Flaming Oranje move up the standings with seven points from four matches, while Mohun Bagan are winless and have two points from four outings.
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