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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bagan's Deadly Duo dump Chirag!

"Who won?" asked a passer by.
"Mohun Bagan..." came a prompt reply.
"What's the scoreline?" he asked.
"2-0" replied a boy with a grin.
"Who scored?"
"Barreto-Bhaichung, who else..." with a look of satisfaction and confidence.
This was the little conversation I heard on my way back from the stadium and it seemed just perfect...
Karim's boys undid Chirag United's all efforts to salvage even a single point and save themselves from the relegation zone.
Though Chirag tried to force the issue with the beginning of the match, but soon taking control of the midfield, Bagan started to dictate the terms.
Attacks were coming in numbers, but Gopal, Chirag goalie made a couple of saves. But in the 18th minute, Barreto, off a Tulunga centre, headed in the first goal.
Bagan kept the tempo up and in the 29th minute, Bhaichung took a side volley to beat the keeper.
The entire first half Bagan reaigne supreme in the field giving Chirag strikers no chance to even come close. Vasan, Odafe and Habibur looked steady.
In the second half, Karim concentrate more on defending the two goals and not to humiliate Subrata Bhattacharya's side. Shilton seemed very solid under the post and didnot find any much of a problem tackling the few shots that came his way.
The quality of refereeing however has to be brought into attention of the AIFF by the Bagan officials. Through out the match, Barreto had to manage hard tackles for which he at the most got a free kick and at times not even that. Whereas Barreto ended up seeing a yellow card for sliding tackle. Marcos and Rakesh Masih were also booked today.
Bagan with todays win cemented their 2nd spot at the en of he 1st leg of the I League with 21 points from 11 matches.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bhaichung ensure Bagan second spot after 10th round!

Mahindra United have won just once against Mohun Bagan at Kolkata in all the I League encounters while Bagan has won the lion's share. Records remained intact as Mohun Bagan captain, Bhaichung Bhutia made sure Bagan came out with 3 points against Mahindra to move up to the top 3 of the I League Table after the 10th round.
The match started with Bagan slightl losing the initiative to Mahindra as they Steven Dias & Co. tried to create some disturbance in the Bagan defence and came close to scoring twice.
But as the game progressed, Bagan defence starring Marcos and Masih took control and put a hault to Mahindra's progress. The half ended with both the teams having equal opportunities but the score board read 0-0.
The second half had barely begun, when Mohun Bagan struck through Bhaichung Bhutia. Dipak Mondal moved into the Mahindra penalty box from the left and let in a low centre to Bhaichung. The ball was spilled by Bhaichung but it came back to him off a Mahindra defender and he made full use of the opportunity. With a half turn, Bhaichung placed the ball across the face of the goal and the keeper stretched in vein as the ball entangled in the net.
Bagan though defended the goal for the remainder, Bagan played some quite exceptional football with numerous passes and laid ope the Mahindra defense on more than one ocassion. Barreto was however, clearly tripped inside the box as he was about to trigger a shot, but the refree, quite to the surprise of the spectators signalled "play on"
The only concern for Karim would be that, against Chirag, he will miss the services of Sangram and Deepak Mandal due to double booking.
After 5 matches, Bagan were on 3 points. Now after 10 matches, they are on 18 points with just Sporting club leading the table with a difference of 4 points.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lalkamal makes the day for Bagan! Bagan down Vasco 2-1

Mohun Bagan played Vasco away from home, in Goa and made sure they collect full 3 points against a team which has been languishing at the bottom of the league table to ensure the Mariners stay in the hunt for the I league title. Bagan are on 15 points, just 4 points behind the league leaders Sporting club de Goa.
Mohun Bagan continued their winning streak for 4 continuous I League matches and it seems like the Bagan wheel is on a roll with Karim fuel pushing it.
Bagan though went a goal down in the 29th minute, came back through Rakesh Masih in the 31st minute. From an inswinging corner sent in, Masih connected a reaching header to equalise for Bagan. The half ended on 1-1.
Lalkamal Bhowmick, who came in place of Ishfaq Ahmed, scored the winner with the beginning of the second half. The goal itself is evident to Lalkamal's personal skills, as he took a long ranger from outside the penalty box but the shot rebounded off a defender and came back to Lalkamal, who dodged his was inside the box and taking on two defenders with a magical wand of his legs, let in a left footer to beat the keeper. He had not scored for Bagan after the first leg match against Peerless last season, which Bagan won 7-0! That was last when Lalkamal had scored for Bagan and today Lalkamal contributed to a winning cause and that hopefully would boost his confidence level.
Bagan are on 15 points from 9 matches and very much in the race for the title...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

10 men Mohun Bagan play magical football to murder JCT!

If this club doesnot deserve to win the I league, then who does? 90 mins of Magical football is all that Karim Bencharifa's boys had to offer against JCT! Who would say this team was on 3 points from 5 matches, now they are on 12 points from 8 matches and they seem to be on a roll and mow any opposition down, come what may... After a 10 men struggling win against the mighty Dempo, a Barreto-less win against the Churchill, Mohun Bagan strangle JCT even after being reduced to 10 men again. Even after being reduced to 10 men at the stroke of Half time, nobody expected Mohun Bagan to play the football they played in the second half. Karim's confidence in his boys and their ability to cope with every situation was apparent once again. Though the main pillar of Bagan defense, Odafe was sent off, Karim stuck with the same set of players without worrying about his defense as he did not care to send in any new defenders, instead made Rakesh Masih to fill in for Odafe, who never fail to impress us. He was impressive in the midfield in the first half and then an ace in defense in the second half. The football which the team played today, was purely "magical". The match started off with Bagan stepping on the gas from the word go and the JCT defense seemed a bit jittery to start off with. Bagan brought on waves of attacks and finally in the 15th minute, Ishfaq Ahmed headed in the first goal from a long cross sent in by James from the right. Only minutes later, Manju had the chance of doubling the lead, but he could not manage to keep it in. JCT however came close once when JCT player hit the post but just could not open the goal mouth through out the match, thanx to Deepak and Masih. In the 31st minute, Barreto was pushed from behind inside the box and was awarded a penalty, which Barreto did not fail to convert. Though the keeper guessed the right side, precision beat the keeper than anything else.

At the stroke of halftime, Odafe received the second booking of the match and was sent off much to the worry of the Bagan fans. But in the 2nd half, Bagan though went defensive, it can be said that Bagan played a much superior quality of football. Sangram had to deal with just a few shots that made its way to the goal, while the other ones were dealt with by the defense. Marcos again showed why the coach has trust in him as Rakesh and he took tremendous load in the midfield to unsettle JCT and make the day easy for Bagan! Mohun Bagan after his win, has managed to win against threeof the tougher teams of the I League and on all the three ocassions have managed a clean sheet!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Karim might play 3 forwards against JCT!

JCT, who stand on otherwise level ground with Mohun Bagan but are only ahead as far as goal difference is concerned, are to meet Mohun Bagan on the 16th of this month ! Infact along with Bagan, East Bengal are also stuck on 9 points from 7 matches but only they have +1 goal difference compared to -1 of Bagan! The goal difference issue has already been a thorn in the flesh for Karim Bencharifa, when last season he had to settle for the runner's up trophy coaching Churchill, who ended their I league campaign second only to Dempo, with same points as Dempo but lagging behind in goal difference!
Karim will not take any chances this season with Mohun Bagan. After grooving into the winning ways by defeating the reigning champions Dempo on their home ground, and after winning against Churchill Brothers and ending their unbeaten run in the I League, Karim has shifted all focus to the job at hand- the match against JCT. It wont be an easy match by any stretch of imagination and that is the reason why Karim would want to field his inform players.
The defensive combination of Habibur, Odafe, Dipak, Manju seems to be working and has been successful in defending a solitary goal through out the match against Churchill- that should give them the confidence.
Upfront, Bhaichung may be supported by inform Lalawmpuia. Lalawmpuia has scored 2 goals off the 3 matches he has played his I League and the match he did not score, he created the scoring opportunity for Branco. Injury had nudged him out of action but he announced his return his the only goal against Churchill and winning the match for Bagan. Barreto, who missed the last match might start off as an attacking midfielder and then judging by match situation, might move up along side Bhaichung and Lalwmpuia.
Marcos, who after his inclusion, has lent much composure in the midfield, might be supported by Ishfaq and Sr. James Singh.
What the final line up would be, that remains to be seen, but Karim certainly is weighing his options with Lalawmpuia.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Diego Maradona against Mohun Bagan!

It was the Black Pearl in 1977, who came to Calcutta to play a match against the oldest club of Asia. Pele played for Cosmos against Mohun Bagan AC and managed to restrict Bagan to a 2-2 draw!
Then, along came Roger Milla, the African legend in 1989, centenary year of Mohun Bagan AC...
This year in May, Oliver Kahn, the living legend, the greatest German goalkeeper, played his last game against the National club of India, Mohun Bagan AC...
and now the Prince of world football is here...Diego Maradona...the Argentinian wonder, the superman...
The ex-World Cup winner will visit the Mother House, Kolkata, which is the headquarters of Missionaries of Charity and also inaugurate the Indian Football School in the city. The probable date of his arrival has been declared to be 6th December.
The West Bengal State Government has decided to felicitate the Argentinian Coach on his arrival in the city and if possible will arrange a 10 minutes match against the City Giant, Mohun Bagan AC!
However, such a proposition seems highly unlikely, because according to FIFA rules, Once a person has been appointed as the Coach of a Football Team under FIFA, such person shall not be allowed to play football, other than for the purpose of coaching...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Churchill Bros. bear the brunt of a resurgent Bagan!

It was Dempo last week and now Churchill, Karim's boys are doing it the hard way! Full 6 points against the two of the tougher teams in the I league and keeping a clean sheet on both the occasions. Nothing short of brilliance! A 10 men side against Dempo, a Barreto less side against Churchill...yet two wins! Is the Karim Magic back? That remains to be seen until the end of the league(a sceptic's opinion)...but surely the two wins against Dempo and Churchill have come as something more than an energy drink for Karim's boys and their admirers... Bagan started off today against Churchill at the Yuva Bharati Krirangan, with Bhaichung and Lalampuia upfront since Barreto was out with two bookings. The Bagan defense seemed much experienced featuring, Manju, Dipak, Odafe and Habibur. Churchill boasted Odafa Okili and Karim had Odafe to 'tackle' him who kept him in and "goal tight" container. Bagan drew first blood in the 14 minute courtesy a lovely goal from Lalampuia. Marcos lofted a ball over the head of India international defender, Gourmangi Singh to Lalam, who pushed the ball past the advancing Churchill goalie. Churchill was not going to make life easy for the Bagan defenders and the Bagan defense showed some much desired character. Though the defense did seem desperate at times, yet confidence - is the key factor that the Bagan defense has acquired after the Dempo match. It did seem that Sangram was having a few moments of misunderstanding with the defense, but Manju stood defiant against the Churchill attack and protected the goal. After the match when Karim was questioned about his "weak" defence, the Bagan coach fumed at the reporter as he reminded that his so called weak defense has maintained a clean sheet against not only Dempo, but today also against a side which has scored 12 goals so far, Churchill Brothers! When questioned about Marcos's fitness and pace, his performance today should silence the critics, as he earned the Man of the Match today!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bagan bang 9 goals in practice match!

Mohun Bagan today played a practice match at the club ground just to warm them up for the Churchill match that is this weekend. Bagan banged in 9 goals against a lowly Budge Budge Academy and Lalampuia, who had been out of action for a few weeks nursing an injury scored a hat trick. With Barreto sitting out the Churchill match owing to double booking, Lalampuia will have to accompany the Indian Ronaldo, Bhaichung Bhutia upfront.
Among the goal scorers were Dipak, Lalkamal, Bhaichung, Kisku, each scoring a piece and Masih a brace, topped by Lalampuia with a hat trick.
Final score read 9-0.
Team: Shilton, Karan Atwal, Manju, Dipak, Mohanraj, Lalkamal, Marcos, Mesih, Rahul Kumar, Baichung, Lalampuia

MOHUN BAGAN ATHLETIC CLUB-The National club of India

A Short History:

MOHUN BAGAN AC-The National club of India, the oldest Club in Asia,
was established on 15th August 1889 when India was up in arms against her collonial head, England.

Eversince its establishment the Club had been winning a lot of local leagues and cups but the moment of greatness that surpasses all came in the year 1911 when Mohun Bagan AC became the first Indian club/team to defeat the foreigners in their own game of football.

On 29th of July 1911 Mohun Bagan won the IFA shield beating East Yorkshire 2-1. Eversince there has been no stopping!

The club has won and keeps on winning many a laurel for the country! It has made our Nation Proud!

According to FIFA rankings, in Asia, Mohun Bagan is the 16th biggest team to have an avg. home crowd of 19,888. According to World standards, Mohun Bagan has been ranked of 127 much ahead of other big clubs like Udinese(Italy), Benfica(Portugal) and Fulham(England) to mention a few.

It is however,not an easy task to consolidate the history of a club which is more than 117 years old*...(read more...)

*For Further Info:Please visit The Offical site of MAC: History section please open in a New Window

Location: Kolkata Maidan
Green and Maroon
Symbol: Sail Boat

Stadium: Mohun Bagan ground
Yuva Bharati Krirangan

MOHUN BAGAN AC- It's not just a club, it is an institution, a religion, a passion. LIVE IT...DIE FOR IT...

A Pictorial trip of the Mohun Bagan Ground!

Satellite Imagery of our Club Ground!*
*Open in a New Window please.
Images of Yuva Bharati Krirangan*
*Open in a New Window please.

Photos by: Soumyadeb Sinha
Photos by: Soumyadeb Sinha


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