The kind of form that Mohun Bagan are in at the moment, it’s proving difficult for their opponents to stop them. On Friday, Mumbai FC were at the receiving end of this Kolkata onslaught in a 12th round match of the I-League at the Cooperage.
The three-time National League winners came up with a late charge to fashion a comfortable 3-0 win against the Mumbai challengers and extended their winning sequence to seven successive wins in this competition. It was sweet revenge too, after having lost their tournament-opener 1-2 against the same opponents at home.
Mohun Bagan now have 24 points and remain in second position behind Sporting Clube de Goa. For Mumbai FC, this was their first loss at home this season and they stay fourth with 19.
The Kolkata opened the scoring in the 73rd minute and then scored two more times in the remaining period. A mix-up in the defence on the right paved the way for Barreto to break free. The Brazilian advanced deep, swiftly turned past his marker before relaying the ball back for James Singh. James trapped the ball and sent a swerving cross into the penalty area. Bhutia anticipated the pass and with a spectacular side-volley, fired low to the left of the goalkeeper. This was his fourth goal in the league.
The second one also had the stamp of class written all over. After picking up a through ball from Marcos, Barreto showed a clean pair of heels as he accelerated towards goal. On entering the box, he sent the ball home with a deft instep to trigger celebrations among the Mohun Bagan fans, who had turned up in large numbers. The Kolkata club landed the knockout punch when substitute PC Lalawmpuiya added the third.
In the day's other match in Ludhiana, Punjab outfit JCT stunned defending champions Dempo 2-1. Baljit Singh scored both the goals for the winners.