On a low sim in the first half, Saturday’s I-League match came alive when Edeh Chidi soared to conquer. Salgaocar replied through Manjdou Keita and but fetching them a point was goalkeeper Kalyan Choubey who got Jose Barreto to miss his fourth penalty of the season. Karim Bencherifa left the Yuba Bharati Krirangan, head high.
It also meant Kolkata teams still can’t win at home and that Mohun Bagan are without one for five rounds. Having gained a crucial point on the road in their battle for survival, Salgaocar won’t be bothered by all that.
“We missed some points earlier and played badly against Sporting Club in the last round, so I’m very happy,” said Bencherifa, Mohun Bagan’s coach till last February.
With Salgaocar packing the midfield to get around the problem of missing two defenders (Sivash Saminia with a double booking and the injured Milagres Gonsalves) and Mohun Bagan unable to find a way out, the first half was played with the intensity of a friendly.
It could have ended differently had Chidi got some contact after Rakesh Masih’s free header, off a Marcos Perreira corner-kick, was palmed into the horizontal by Choubey.
Choubey’s inability to cut out Chidi led to the first goal, off Perreira’s corner-kick. Salgaocar hit on the break when Rocus Lamarre’s super left-foot pass caught N.S. Manju out of position and Keita calmly put the finishing touches. Mohun Bagan got a fortuitous penalty when Choubey made a mess of collecting Manju’s long throw and pulled Chidi down. He salvaged the situation by diving to his right to stop Barreto’s push.
Final Score: Mohun Bagan 1 (Chidi 62’) drew Salgaocar 1 (Mandjou 76’)
East Bengal host Dempo
East Bengal have to pull out all stops when they host Dempo in a crucial I-League match here on Sunday.