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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Mohun Bagan beat Shillong Lajong for season’s first I-League win at home

Yuta Kinowaki got the evening’s first goal in the 47th minute and Henry Kisseka made it 2-0 on the hour mark.

football Updated: Dec 23, 2018 23:39 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Kolkata
Mohun Bagan are now on 15 points after 9 games.
Mohun Bagan are now on 15 points after 9 games. (AIFF)
         

Mohun Bagan rung in Christmas by partially righting a woeful home record with a comfortable 2-0 win against Shillong Lajong here on Sunday.

Yuta Kinowaki got the evening’s first goal in the 47th minute and Henry Kisseka made it 2-0 on the hour mark.

After their first win at the Salt Lake stadium in five I-League games this season, Mohun Bagan have 15 points from nine rounds and Shillong Lajong, the only all-Indian team in the competition apart from the developmental side Indian Arrows, stay last on four points from as many.

Starting with eight under-22 players --- it became nine in the 33rd minute when left back Rakesh Pradhan was replaced by Allen Nongri --- Shillong Lajong had a simple plan to defend their turf: put bodies between Mohun Bagan and their goal. It worked for one half.

In that time Shillong Lajong’s task was made easier by the quality of Mohun Bagan’s deliveries being ordinary. Mohun Bagan could still have forged ahead in the 19th minute but Omar Elhussieny’s drive from distance after Henry Kisseka sold a dummy to a Dipanda Dicka pass was saved by goalie Phurba Lachenpa. Twenty minutes later, Kisseka’s bulged the side-netting. Between those efforts, veteran midfielder Mehtab Hossain made his second appearance for Mohun Bagan, coming on in the 23rd minute for the injured central midfielder Sourav Das.

The second half was a different story. Shillong Lajong’s defence first erred in the 47th minute when Aibanbha Dohling’s intended clearance to a cross slung by Abhishek Ambekar became an assist. The ball fell kindly for Kinowaki whose volley from over 20 yards curled away from Lachenpa into goal.

It was 2-0 in the 60th minute and this time too, poor defending was to blame. Lachenpa left his line even though he had a player in front ready to intercept a long ball. The goalie missed the collection leading to the ball pinging inside the area and Kisseka showed the presence of mind to stick a leg out whole on the floor.

In between, Shillong Lajong’s Samuel Lyngdoh did test Sankar Roy but the Mohun Bagan goalie used his body to block the drive.

Mohun Bagan came close to scoring on two more occasions but in the 74th minute, Dicka couldn’t get a connection to a ball delivered from the left by Elhussieny and in the 89th , Kisseka stabbed straight to the Shillong Lajong goalkeeper after finding space between their central defenders. By then, yawning gaps had opened in Shillong Lajong’s defensive game.

First Published: Dec 23, 2018 19:29 IST