More soft goals and this time goalie Shilton Paul wasn’t to blame. In seven matches, including Saturday’s draw in Margao with Sporting Clube de Goa, Mohun Bagan have conceding 13 goals. Barring against Chirag United and Viva Kerala, they have also played catch-up in all their matches of the third I-League.
Despite playing their best available defenders, the first tie in Goa was no exception. Nathaniel Amos put Sporting Clube in front, making the most of Rakesh Masih’s indecision following a high pass from Deepak Mondal.
Mohun Bagan equalised through a stellar strike from Branco Cardozo who scored with an on-the-run flick which loped in at the far post. Cardozo then drove a rebound wide after Edeh Chidi’s blast from close deflected off Sporting Clube goalie Luis Barreto.
Mohun Bagan went ahead when Marcos Perreira calmly placed Snehasish Chakraborty’s prompt past Sporting Clube goalie Luis Barreto. The lead lasted only one minute as little medio Joe Pereira stabbed Amos’s cheeky flick with his left foot between central defenders Masih and Mondal. The shot was superbly placed and Paul reacted late perhaps because he was unsighted.
The Bagan midfield sat too deep in the second half. Not only did Sporting camp in their territory, it also meant Edeh Chidi, Cardozo and Suraj Mondal who replaced him, got little supply. With Surkumar Singh moving inside, Joe Pereira got the space he sought on the left and crosses kept coming. But for Paul, Bagan would have lost.
“We should have killed the game in the first half but since we couldn’t, I am happy with the draw. But we must stop letting in soft goals,” Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencherifa said.