Mohun Bagan today played their season opener against Peerless SC in the Bagan home ground and quite to the expectations and joy of the million mariners, Karim's boys pulled out a white wash on Peerless!
The match opened up with a 46th Second goal from the promising Lalampuia, who tapped in a ball from an Odafe throw-in from the left.
Peerless tried to settle down after the early jolt but Bagan piled on the pressure! However the inevitable happened and Bagan extended their lead to 2-0 in the 14th minute through Lalampuia again. A Magical defence splitting ball from Ishfaq found Lalampuia take an acurate right footer as the ball squeed between the first post and the advancing keeper.
Ishfaq did well to lift Bagan's midfield as he kept feeding Barreto and Lalam with quality balls. However, the Peerless keeper came up with two excellent saves later in the half as he denied a Barreto header and a Lalkamal scorcher. The first half was totally dominated by Bagan and as the teams left for the lemon break, the ball possession was 70-30 in Bagan's favour.
Peerless came out in the second half with a purpose and looked to try the Bagan defence. But Odafe and Anand Vasan did all they could to ensure a clean sheet for Sangram though honestly Bagan defence, has to be said, was not tested at all. The second half was more of the battle of the midfield and Lalam with Barreto upfront tried to get this first hattrick!
Lalam though found a couple of half chances coming his way, couldnot achieve the goal of a hattrick and was later replaced by Branco Cardozo, the promising TFA striker! After in inclusion, Bagan's lead extended to 3-0 as he scored off a lovely inswinging ball from Barreto, which deceived the keeper. Branco jabbed the cross in but a Peerless defender was present for a goal line save. Branco followed his ball wonderfully and made sure as he pushed the lose ball in.
Malsaumtulunga, who came into the side with much expectations from the Bagan fans, was introduced in the later part of the second half replacing Rahul Kumar, but he failed to make any contribution and did not impress as he was caught out numbered on the flank on a number of occassions!
The only hitch however was that Barreto received a yellow card and he will have to watch his way in the next matches!
After the match, however, Karim Bencherifa commented that he is happy with the way the team performed as his team put up a satisfactory effort and won convincingly!
Team: Sangram, Rahul Kumar[Malsaumtulunga], Odafe, Anand Vasan, Habibur, James Singh, Lalkamal, Sanjoy Boro(U19)[Suman(U19)], Isfaq, Barreto, Lalawmpuia[Branco]