Sanjoy Sen’s men gathered a lot of momentum ahead of the upcoming Kolkata derby with a 4-2 thrashing of Salgaocar FC with man of the match Luciano Sabrosa getting his first goal in Mohun Bagan colours, on his debut for the club.
Mohun Bagan started right from where they left off against Aizwal FC, surging into a flurry of attacks from the early minutes of the match. Salgaocar had more numbers in the midfield, but it was the Mariners’ midfielders who dominated the show with their slick passing movement.
Mohun Bagan’s Japanese star Yusa Katsumi got the green and maroon brigade off to a great start with a darting run from the left wing, and had a decent penalty shout right at the start. However, referee Umesh Bora was having none of that, as he waved away the united appeals of the Mohun Bagan players and the supporters.
It was Katsumi again, who got the home side into the early lead, as Salgaocar goalkeeper Karanjit Singh fumbled a dangerous long throw by Dhanachandra Singh. Katsumi was there on the spot turn the ball into an empty net with his head. Salgaocar tried to get back into the game with long balls hooved up the field. Their Scottish striker Darryl Duffy was the target of these long balls. Duffy managed to get himself onto the end of most of these aerial balls, but there was nobody to make the runs off his shoulder.
The home side doubled their lead when Salgaocar midfielder Gujinder Singh brought down Mohun Bagan striker Cornel Glen in the box. The Trinidad and Tobago striker had no trouble converting from the spot. Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan constantly troubled the Saalgaocar defence with darting runs from their right winger Azharuddin Mullick, who was also supported by forward Balwant Singh. A flurry of throw-ins won on the wings meant that Bagan fullback Dhanachandra Singh was able to launch a number of long throws into the box.
There was yet more misery in store for Salgaocar soon after this, as Mohun Bagan defender Luciano Sabrosa marked his debut for the club by nodding in a corner by Katsumi for the third goal of the match.
Not being able to take any more of the suffering, Slagaocar coach Malcolm Thomson brought on Thongkhosiem Haokip. Jackichand Singh, who looked relatively harmless playing the no. 10 role, was now shifted to the left wing, while Haokip replaced Alesh Sawant to play alongside Duffy.
However, Pranoy Halder was at the peak of his game, playing the prefect role of a box-to-box midfielder, covering almost every blade of grass on the pitch. The Mariners came out all guns blazing in the second half as well. Balwant Singh got the fourth goal for them, heading in a corner from Katsumi, effectively ending all doubts about the result of the match.
Salgaocar did manage to get a couple of goals back with Duffy scoring in the 69th minute, and Gurjinder Singh belting in a long ranger from outside the box in the 86th, but it was too little too late for the Goan side to get back into the game.
The first two matches of the I-League campaign have proved that Sanjoy Sen has a lot of depth in the attacking front of his team, as they have scored seven goals in the first two matches. However, the fact that they have conceded two goals against a struggling Salgaocar side points at the fact that the Mariners need to work on a few things in the training ground ahead of the much anticipated Kolkata Derby against arch rivals East Bengal next week.
Image Courtesy: AIFF Media