Mohun Bagan went down 3-0 against Churchill Brothers at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday evening thanks to some schoolboy errors by the entire defensive unit.
Club skipper Eze Kingsley who marshalls the back four had a forgetful day in the office as he was caught out of position at least on a couple of occasions. But it was Dalraj Singh who must shoulder the blame for the first two goals.
After a commanding display against Real Kashmir, coach Sankar Lal Chakraborty had no qualms in handing Singh a starting berth against Churchill Brothers ahead of Lalchhawnkima. During the first goal, he misjudged the flight of the cross floated in by Lamgoulen Gou Hangshing and made a hash of his attempted clearance. It fell for Dawda Ceesay who calmly slotted it past Shilton Paul in goal.
Left-back Abhishek Ambekar had ventured forward while Hangshing delivered the cross. In that case, Kingsley should have drifted out wide to cover that position and check the winger from putting in a cross.
In the 22nd minute, Churchill could have got their second as Bagan's defence was in sixes and sevens. Wayne Vaz sent in a through ball for Israil Gurung and Ambekar was once again out of position which allowed the winger to put in a cross. Questions need to be asked on Sony Norde's defensive contribution as well as the Haitian was seen strolling back to the defensive half when Vaz had already played in Gurung.
During the second goal, Gurung was once again allowed to have acres of space on the right flank as Ambekar was too close to Kingsley in the heart of the defence. Ambekar's mistake was followed by Dalraj Singh's error inside the box as he was once again beaten in the air which allowed Plaza to head towards goal. The Trinidadian had thought that the ball would not reach him and jumped half-heartedly to get a touch but it was enough to bundle the ball into the net following a deflection of the defender.
Bagan did not learn from the first two goals and this time it was Arijit Bagui who must be held responsible. The right-back was deep inside the penalty box and Plaza and Ceesay combined well without being closed down. Dalraj and Kingsley were caught napping as Plaza continued his run from the edge of the box and got a free header to make it 3-0.
In each of the three goals, the wide players were given ample opportunity by the wing backs to provide ammunition to the strikers.
Chakraborty has his work cut out before facing Chennai City FC. Akbar Nawas' men have scored for fun this season, pumping in 15 goals in just six matches. Nestor Gordillo and Sandro Rodriguez must be licking their lips after watching a frail Bagan defence. If the Mariners hope to stop Chennai's juggernaut and gain some wind in their title ambitions, they must repair the holes in their sails.