I League

Mohun Bagan beat Churchill Brothers 2-1 to keep title hopes alive

By Rajarshi Chakrabarty

Mohun Bagan continued their late resurgence beating relegation-threatened Churchill Brothers 2-1 to keep their title hopes alive on Saturday at Tilak Maidan, Goa.

Mohun Bagan went in with the regular 4-4-2 formation Akram and Dicka leading the line supported by Sheik Faiaz and Nikhil Kadam from the flanks.Watson and Yuta in charge of the midfield as Gurjinder Kumar started on the left wing and Kingshuk Debnath replaced Rana Gharami to pair with Eze Kingsley to guard the central channel.

Both teams had odd chances in the first but it was mostly barren as none of the teams could bring out the creativity in the attacking third to break the deadlock as the first half saw cagey approach from both teams.

The second half was deemed to be more exciting as Francis found himself with space in an advantageous position but failed to connect the shot properly to hit it straight to the keeper.

Mohun Bagan used the long ball strategy as Akram and Faiaz won two back to back headers in the attacking half to find Dicka who played a square pass to Nikhil Kadam, who finished it off with perfectly placed left-footer past diving keeper James Kothan to put Mohun Bagan ahead in the game on the 54th minute.

As Churchill desperately looked for an equalizer to escape their relegation threat, it took them 20 minutes after conceding to find the equalizer through Osagie Monday 74th minute.

The move started with Dawda Ceesay playing a delightful ball towards the left channel to Nicholas Fernandes who put in a low cross into the six-yard box and Osagie Monday slotted it in from close range to make it 1-1 on the 74′.

Mohun Bagan’s next goal came off a comedy of errors as Akram Moghrabi failed to connect the header from Sheikh Faiz’s cross from point-blank range from an angle it seemed impossible to miss as the ball rolled back into play.

Mohun Bagan kept the attack alive from the same move as Faiaz delivered another brilliant cross within few seconds but this time around Akram Moghrabi made amends for his mistake seconds earlier to bury the ball at the back of the net to make it 2-1 for Mohun Bagan on the 76th minute.

As the clock ticked by, Churchill failed to find an equalizer as Mohun Bagan completed a 2-1 win to climb the third position on the league table.Mohun Bagan will look to win their final match against Gokulam Kerala to have an outside chance to win the league should other reams falter.