Kolkata champions Mohun Bagan have sprung into life as they continued their good run of form with a third successive victory by beating Punjab’s JCT at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata in an eighth round I-League match.Mohun Bagan are now placed fifth on the table and are level on points with arch rivals East Bengal and Mumbai FC. JCT have slumped to eighth position after a brilliant start to their league campaign.
Skipper Bhaichung Bhutia started the attack as his volley missed the target in the opening minute. Ishfaq Ahmed, who has been on fire lately, opened the account for Bagan in the 14th minute as headed in a James Singh cross from the right.
Bagan’s second came off a penalty from Jose Baretto after he was fouled inside the area and referee Dinesh Nair had no hesitation in pointing towards the spot.
Just when things looked easy for the Green and Maroon, referee Dinesh Nair sent off Peter Odafe for his second serious foul of the evening as he tackled Jagpreet Singh towards the end of the first session.
This prompted coach Karim Bencherifa to get his side into the Dempo mode where they were in a similar position with 10 men and came out in flying colours. Rakesh Masih filled in for Odafe as a stopper back while Ishfaq, Marcos and James formed a three man midfield. Bhaichung played as a lone striker upfront and Baretto was given a free role in front of the midfielders.
Six minutes into the second half and Bhaichung Bhutia found the back of the net but his goal was disallowed as Baretto appeared to have fouled the JCT custodian Karanjit Singh.
JCT had their chances in the game but failed to convert them. Eduardo Da Silva came close when his shot came off the post in the first half while Sakatar Singh was guilty of missing an open chance in the second session.
The match ended with the same scoreline and Bagan are on high for the moment.
Final Score: 2-0
Goalscorers Bagan: Ishfaq Ahmed (14th min) and Jose Baretto (30th pen)