Barreto was kept out owing to some injury, but that prove costly as Bagan seemed listless and clueless in the first half and allowed an equally clueless Vasco to settle into the match and dictate terms and finally emerge victorious making the Group D of the Federation cup seem very interesting.
Bagan started off with Lalampuia and Bhutia upfront with Ishfaq and James manning the two flanks with Rakesh playing a defensive role and Marcos playing a maker's role but none were performing his own duty. Ishfaq and Marcos were happy sending in long balls for Lalam and Bhutia both of whom seemed "out".
The entire first half was fruitless for Bagan and allowed Vasco to settle in he match as they played much more ground football compared to the long balls played in by the Bagan players.
Barreto was introduced in the second half and the difference was visible with Bagan playing more along the ground and getting a few constructive moves. Marcos was beautifully played in Barreto, but he managed to hit the advancing keeper.The heartbreaking moment came when Bagan won a free kick outsie the Vasco box, Marcos managed to hit the pots, the ball came back to Bhaichung, who headed it over the keeper, but shocking as it was, Habibur who stood on the goal line facing the entire field behind every possible Vasco defender and behind the keeper, needlessly kicked the ball in, which woul have gone anyways. Offside was ruled against Bagan and that was justified.
Bagan kept coming close to scoring with Barreto and Bhaichung taking shots inturns but the Vasco goalie denied them.
On the contrary, Vasco took just one shot at the goal which sailed in with Sangram under the bar giving judgement to an ariel ball with no idea of where he himself stood, on the goal line. The Match ended 0-1, Vasco beating Mohun Bagan. One might be reminded of Sangram's devastating mistakes in the last Federation Cup and if Karim wants to advance, he may consider giving Shilton Pal a chance as Sangram is in much need of a well earned break! Last year Sangram conceded silly goals in the matches leading upto the semifinal tie against East Bengal, against whom, he conceded 3 goals and Bagan went down 2-3.
Now Bagan has to win against Air India and that too with a healthy goal difference(provided Vasco win against Oil India), while Air India also will jump for full 3 points, since if they win, even they stand a chance of advancing. The winner of this group will meet East Bengal in the Semis.