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Mohun Bagan v Shivajians Match Report, 18/02/17

3 - 1
B. Singh (42)
B. Singh (44)
Y. Katsumi (89 pen)
M. Singh (33)
Rabindra Sarobar Stadium
I-League 2017: Mohun Bagan 3-1 DSK Shivajians - The Mariners tie East Bengal on points at the summit
6:47 PM IST 18/02/17
Balwant Singh Chennai City Mohun Bagan I-League 2017
Balwant Singh struck twice as Mohun Bagan came from behind to see off the Shivajians' challenge...

Mohun Bagan returned to winning ways at home against DSK Shivajians after a couple of draws with a 3-1 victory at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium in Kolkata.

The visitors struck first blood through Milan Singh in the 33rd minute before a two-minute flurry from Balwant Singh (42', 44') saw Mohun Bagan surge into the lead. Katsumi Yusa put the icing on the cake with a penalty, a minute before regulation time. 

Jeje Lalpekhlua was a notable absentee from The Mariners' lineup for the second match running as Balwant Singh was handed a start. Pronay Halder and Sehnaj Singh helmed the central midfield while Sony Norde was declared fit to start after an injury scare.

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Dave Rogers had Sasa Kolunija and Seong-Yong Kim missing due to injury. Sumeet Passi was the lone striker deployed upfront while Gouramangi Singh came into defence. 

DSK Shivajians were the early aggressors as Juan Quero almost opened the scoring with Debjit Majumder forced to come off his line and make a save from the Spaniard’s shot from a counter.

The first thirty minutes of the encounter saw the home team on the backfoot with the away side giving them a footballing lesson. Yet they held fort and besides Halicharan Narzary's early effort that sneaked off the far post, the Shivajians failed to test them much in spite of dominating possession.

However, just three minutes after the half-hour mark, the away side took the lead and deservedly so. Juan Quero sprinted down the left, cut in and beat Eduardo Ferreira for pace before putting in a delightful low cross towards the onrushing Milan Singh who tore away from Anas Edathodika and deftly struck it to give Debjit Majumder no chance to open the scoring for his side. 

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In what was a tactical substitution, Sanjoy Sen took out the ineffective Sehnaj Singh, opting to put in Katsumi Yusa in that position while introducing the fleet footed Prabir Das on the wings. The change seemed to work wonders as Bagan had the lead within ten minutes.

Balwant Singh repaid his coach's faith in him when he pounced on a poor parry from Subrata Paul in goal following Pritam Kotal's cross. As Paul made a hash of the punch, it landed straight onto Balwant's path and he made no mistake and directed his header into the empty net.

Two minutes later, it was Balwant again who gave his side the lead, courtesy a delightful scissor-kick. It was Kotal again but this time the lob into the box resulted in the forward depositing the ball into the top corner of the farpost with a fantastic piece of skill. 

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Sanjoy Sen could pat himself on the back after an inspired change saw the Mariners going into the half with a lead in the bag.

It really seemed a game of two halves as Mohun Bagan looked a reinvigoured side post the breather.

Sony Norde twice started moves that could have resulted in a Balwant hat-trick after his late first-half blitz but the former Churchill Brothers striker failed to capitalise, as the change in halves seemed to have hindered his striking prowess.

At the hour mark, Prabir Das dispayed fine dribbling skills as he took Sairuat Kima for a spin, who was later booked for wearing Mohd Sajd Dhot’s jersey for at least twenty minutes after the half-time with the referee finally spotting the error. 

Juan Quero tried to replicate his first-half performances but found no takers to help his cause as his counterpart Sony Norde looked threatening everytime he got on the ball.

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DSK got a brilliant chance to equalise in the 82nd minute, though. Lallianzuala Chhangte's shot from close range was denied by Eduardo Ferreira’s clearance and the rebound was hit wide of the farpost by Shane McFaul.

With a couple of minutes to go for regulation time, veteran defender Gouramangi Moirangthem brought down substitute Jeje Lalpekhlua inside the box with the referee playing advantage after McFaul had manhandled Duffy on the run.

The ensuing spot-kick was duly converted by skipper Katsumi Yusa who got the better of his NorthEast United team-mate Paul, sending him the other way.

The 3-1 victory spelled Mohun Bagan’s return to winning ways after two successive away draws. The Mariners are level with leaders East Bengal with 21 points now, only behind by goal difference.

The Loni-based outift remain on sixth position with ten points from as many games played.