I-League Champions Bengaluru FC suffered their worst defeat this season after they were dismantled by a far superior Mohun Bagan side.
The game started off with Bengaluru being the better team in the opening ten minutes. Sunil Chhetri’s shot in the sixth minute was a weak one and did not trouble Bagan’s goalkeeper Debjit Majumdar. Chhetri however made no mistake in burying his header from a delightful Eugeneson Lyngdoh cross in the eighth minute. The goal sprang Mohun Bagan into action as they went in search for an equaliser and almost found it in the 12th minute, but Sony Norde’s freekick was straight at goalkeeper Ralte.
From then on, it was all Mohun Bagan and their pressure in the attacking third was a thing to admire. They pressed the Bengaluru players into their own half and forced a mistake out of goalkeeper Ralte who’s pass was misdirected and was intercepted by Norde who went on to score.
Norde was a menace down the left-hand side and was Mohun Bagan’s best player on the pitch as he had a hand in three out of the four goals scored for his team. After their equaliser, Mohun Bagan almost took the lead after the ball was in the back of the net in the 38th minute, but striker Balwant Singh was judged offside by the linesman.
The second half started in similar trajectory as the first; Bengaluru tried to assert themselves after being outplayed in majority of the first half. The Blues had a few long range shots in the opening minutes of the second half, but Bagan slowly started to dominate after that, as they did in the first half.
Norde showed his set piece taking abilities as well after a flighted free kick almost made its way into the goal. Bengaluru were holding on in the game and had as many as four yellow cards out of which three were awarded for breaking Bagan’s counter attacks.
Bagan’s pressure finally paid off in the 76th minute when Norde neatly sidefooted a through ball and gave his side the lead. Bengaluru never looked like scoring and were punished again in the 86th minute after Norde’s cross was deflected by John Johnson and was headed in by a diving Yusa Katsumi. Bagan completed their dominance after scoring late on in injury time when Bikramjit Singh’s shot was poorly tipped into his own net by Ralte.
The win takes the Mariners to second and Bengaluru drop down to fourth after the humbling loss. The defeat is their second in the Yuva Bharati Krirangan as they were previously beaten by East Bengal in late January.