Former Chirag United striker Subair Muritala Ali was David Booth's Man on Friday against George Telegraph in their opening IFA Shield encounter at Khardah stadium on Tuesday. Not only did the Nigerian set up two goals for Mahindra United but also accounted for George Telegraph's Hira Roy getting sent off.
At the Mohun Bagan ground, Chirag United felt the pinch of going into the match against Tata Football Academy without a good enough striking option. Josimar Da Silva Martins, who Chirag United signed as Muritala's replacement, looked clumsy with the ball and failed to score from the spot in the first session.
TFA took the lead just after the breather with a curling freekick by skipper Subodh Kumar and Chirag equalised through Shylo Malsawmtluanga.
Muritala looked ominous in his forays and threatened to breach George Telegraph's defence on more than one occasion. On the hour mark Muritala was brought down by Hira, the last man of George Telegraph defence, outside the box. The referee wasted no time in flashing the red card.
Mahindra United prompted Ali to co-ordinate more raids on the weakened George defence. That bore fruit very soon when medio Thoi Singh's centre from the right found Ali on the run. The Nigerian worked his way around two defenders before floating a perfect cross for the incoming Mohammed Rafi who headed home with ease.
Ali orchestrated the second goal too, this time operating down the centre. He showed amazing control to outrun his opponents before passing it over to the unmarked Rafi. The George Telegraph goalkeeper left his charge but Rafi calmly dodged past Dey and chipped the ball to the far post.