Bagan started off with Barreto who is suffering from food poisoning. The sick list is quite a long one. Dharamjit, Siddique, Lalkamal, Bhaichung are down with sickness and even the coach Periera is suffering from food poisoning. Dharamjit, the standing captain even though made it to the starting eleven had to be replaced by Ishfaq Ahmed in the first half.
Bagan opened their account in the 16th minute when a corner found Dharamjit on the left side of the goal and he crossed the ball across the goal to Odafe who headed the ball goal-wards but was deflected by the goalie only to find Barreto's reaching left leg. Bagan 1 goal up.
A very ugly performance ensued probably due to the fact the most of the players were not well.
A standing football was all that Bagan midfield had to offer as James Singh, Dharamjit and Gaffari all stood their ground and made long passes and that too of no vail.
With the inclusion of Ishfaq Ahmed a some sense of urgency was seen and as one such long balls was played, Ishfaq dashed in between two defenders and snatching the ball, chipped in a right footer. His first goal for Bagan in a major tournament.
However, the half was not without its share of scares as the defence was found flat footed on two occasions ans Anit Ghosh, in place of Siddique went missing from his possitions as Viva Kerala's strikers could not make the most of those chances.
With the second half, Bagan's lethargic play intensified and the defence was a mere spectator as Viva Kerala after stringing together 4 to 5 passes out side the penalty area took a shot at the goal and Sangram, having no clue as to whrer he was standing and where his goal is dived backwards only to finfd the ball in the net. After the goal Viva Kerala stepped up and threatened the Bagan defence on a number of occasions but Odafe stood tall.
However a ball from the right out from James, found Lalam facing the goalie and he deftly guided the ball home increasing the lead to 2 goals again.
Not much action followed as Bagan played the time out but Bagan could have ended the match on a high as a Barreto pass found Gaffari on the top of the six-yard box only the goalie to beat and he hit the keeper's face. the score remained 3-1.
However, near the end, Sanjeev Maria was introduced for the first time this seson for Bagan in place of Habibur. He seemed fit enough to be played in a few days time.
Suman Dutta, who was fielded in place of Rauf Khan, played a vital role in the midfield today with most of the players off-colour.
Bagan meet East Bengal in the Semi Final on the 11th of September at 7pm IST.