Mohun Bagan edged Pathachakra 1-0 in their opening match of the 2018 Calcutta Football League (CFL) Premier Division 'A' at the Mohun Bagan ground on Saturday.
Henry Kisekka scored the only goal of the match in the 76th minute to confirm three vital points for the Kolkata giants.
Green and Maroon’s coach Sankarlal Chakraborty fielded his side in a 4-4-2 formation with Azharuddin Mallick partnering Henry Kisekka upfront. Kisekka, who brought in from Gokulam Kerala this season, made his debut for Mohun Bagan.
Dutch coach Remco Boere too started the match with a similar formation with Pathachakra’s new foreign recruits Futa Nakamura and Anto Pejic spearheading the attack.
Mohun Bagan came close to score quite a few occasions in the first 25 minutes of the match. Kisekka failed to score from Azharuddin’s through ball as his shot from inside the box went wide. Basant Singh too attempted a long-range shot from 25 yards which went just above the crossbar.
Pathachakra squandered possibly one of the easiest chances of the day when Dipankar Sarkar failed to convert a header from Budhiram Tudu’s cross. Dipankar had an empty goal in front of him but could not score.
Shilton D’Silva unleashed a brilliant long-range around the half-hour mark which was valiantly saved by Pathachakra custodian Arindam Ghosh.
Sankarlal introduced I-League winning striker Moinuddin Khan in second half replacing winger Basant Singh. Azharuddin moved back to his natural position on the left flank and the former Minerva striker partnered Henry up front.
Pintu Mahata missed a one on one opportunity in the 49th minute when he failed to find the back of the net from Shilton D’Silva’s through ball.
In the 55th minute, Lalkamal Bhowmick floated curling ball from the right flank and Dipankar Sarkar attempted a header. Shilton pulled off a last moment save to deny him from scoring the opening goal.
Mohun Bagan made two more substitutions in the next ten minutes. Abhishek Ambekar replaced Amey Ranawade and Tirthankar Sarkar came in place of Pintu Mahata.
The changes instantly impacted the game as Henry Kisekka netted the winning goal for Mohun Bagan in the 76th minute from Tithrankar’s corner. Goalkeeper failed to grip Tirthankar’s curling corner and Henry netted the ball from a melee inside the penalty box.
Pathachakra should have equalised in the 89th minute when Dipankar found an empty net in front of him. Unfortunately, the winger missed the third chance of the match as he blasted the ball from a handshaking distance.