Bagan today took full three points against Mahindra Utd match in their home match and thus after the end of the 1st leg, Bagan find themselves in the fourth spot on the I league table. At one point, this team, after 5 matches found themselves 9th but a series of important wins have seen them rise to the 4th spot.
Bagan today played the best football f the season, the whole team working like an efficient machine, working up and down and creating pressure in the opposition's box. Mahindra Utd has only defeated East Bengal in their I league campaign, whereas has lost only one match against Churchill has defenitelty one of the tight defenses but even they found it hard to cope up with the brilliant duo of Barreto-Bhaichung.
The entire team, from Habibur to Mohunraj, from Dharamjit to James played a tight game and gave a 100% effort, but they found it hard to put one in as Sandip Nandy, Mahindra Utd custodian stood confidently under the bar.
Odafe was adjudged man-of-the-match for his role in the defense and certainly played well.
However the moment came in the 67th minute, when James provided a through pass to Habibur and Habibur sent in a sharp centre and Barreto rose above the others to score the winner!
Refereeing in the match was of a very low standard as referee A. Arjunan failed to penalise the Mahindra players for their play acting to buy time and earn free kicks and instead, booked Douglas, Manju. Shilton Pal was booked apparently for play-acting after he was tackled, however it was later known he sprained his knee and he will be out of the team.
Bagan play their next match against Sporting Club de Goa in Goa.
TEAM:Shilton Paul (Sangram Mukherjee, 86), Habibur Rehman Mondal, Peter Odafe, N.S. Manju, Mohanraj, James Singh, Douglas da Silva, Shanmugam Venkatesh (Lalkamal Bhowmick 80), Dharamjit Singh (Ishfaq Ahmed 90+), Jose Ramirez Barreto, Baichung Bhutia