CFL 2018: Mohun Bagan clinch narrow win over NBP Rainbow A.C
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The Kolkata giants came back from a 0-1 deficit to beat NBP Rainbow A.C 3-2 in their second match of CFL 2018...

Mohun Bagan climb to the top of Calcutta Football League 2018 Premier Division 'A' table by beating NBP Rainbow A.C 3-2 on Tuesday at the Mohun Bagan ground.

Abhijit Sarkar gave the visitors the lead in the 39th minute from a free-kick. Aser Dipanda, Abhishek Ambekar and Azharuddin Mallick scored in the second half to hand Mohun Bagan a 3-1 lead in the second half. Joel Sunday scored a consolation goal in the 83rd minute.

Shankarlal Chakraborty made three changes to the starting eleven that clinched a 1-0 win over Pathachakra. Aser Pierrick Dipanda replaced Henry Kisekka in the attack, Abhishek Ambekar replaced Basant Singh on the flanks whereas Amey Ranawade was relegated to the bench in favour of Gurjinder Kumar. 

Mohun Bagan started in the ascendancy and they could have gone ahead in the 15th minute when Godwin Quashiga's attempt to clear the ball almost landed inside the net. Minutes later, Shilton D'Silva had a crack at goal from a set-piece but his effort was negotiated at the expense of a corner which the referee chose to ignore. 

Bagan were defending in a 4-4-2 with Ambekar, Kingsley, Kimkima and Gurjinder at the back but resorted to a three-man backline on occasions when they had full control of the ball.

Rainbow survived a scare in the 26th minute as Pintu Mahata's right-footed screamer which was destined to bulge the net was parried away for a corner by goalkeeper Dibyendu Sarkar. The resulting corner was cleared away to safety from the goal-line by Rainbow's defence. 

But Abhijit Sarkar's peach of a free-kick beat Shilton Paul in goal in the 39th minute after Kingsley fouled Sujay Dutta just outside the penalty box. 

Bagan's wastefulness continued in front of opposition goal as Dipanda failed to connect to an inch-perfect cross from Bagui. The Mariners had no one else to blame but themselves as Rainbow had their noses in front when the referee blew the half-time whistle.

Play resumed on the same lines as Bagan continued with their all-out approach. Mehtab Hossain was called into action in place of D'Silva to add more bite at the centre of the park. 

The Green and Maroons did not have to wait long for the equaliser as Dipanda did not fail to finish this time from close range. It was Hossain who floated a perfect delivery deep into the six-yard box and Dipanda rose highest to place his header beyond the reach of Sarkar. 

Rejuvenated by the equaliser, the Mariners switched gears. They reaped rewards in the 68th minute when Ambekar's goal-bound shot struck defender Godwin Quashiga's arm and nestled into the net. 

Bagan sealed the three points in the 73rd minute when Azhar scored the third goal after Kingsley headed down a flag-kick floated in by Hossain. 

Although Joel Sunday pulled one back on the 83rd minute after Shilton Paul failed to punch away a routine cross, it was not enough for Rainbow to secure a point. 

Mohun Bagan will next face George Telegraph on August 12 in the Calcutta Football League, 2018.

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