The Federation Cup campaign started for Mohun Bagan today against the Oil India team. Bagan was out without Odafe(has not been registered, since only two foreigners can be registered) and Manju(out with injury). The Defense didnot seem very formidable with Anand Vasan and Manju filling in their shoes. Kareem went in with Bhaichung-Barreto upfront with Marcos, Masih at the centre and Lalkamal and Mama on the two flanks.
Bagan didnot repeat the mistake they had committed against Mumbai FC in the I League opener and asserted their dominance right from the word go though Oil India with youth on its side played with more kicks and pushes than football.
In the 9th minute of the match, Marcos took a long free kick which the Oil India goalie fumbled and Bhaichung was quick to snatch it off his possession and laid it off for Lalkamal, who sent in an inch perfect centre to meet Barreto's header, which inturn was beautifully placed as the keeper stood his ground, and the ball rolled its way into the net. Bagan 1-0.
Bagan carried on the game with the apparent upperhand, but slowly as the half progressed, they became a bit too complacent to save the one goal lead - and that's when Oil India struck. From a long pass, Oil striker, Durga Boro beating Vasan in pace lofted the ball over a confused Sangram who stood in a no-man's-land and looked the ball sail into the goal from over his head.
Bagan immediately put the pressure back on but after the 36th minute equaliser, they couldnot get the lead in the remainder of the half.
The second half began and it was a completely revamped Bagan side, with Ishfaq replacing Lalkamal and Lalampuia replacing Mama. Ishfaq was doing the much needed running and snatching as Marcos continued playing the role of an impressive mideo controlling the Bagan midfield and Rakesh added strength to the defense.
Bagan was ever so hungry to get the lead and kept trying and trying until in the 64th minute, from a Marcos corner, Bhaichung Bhutia side volleyed the ball towards the goal only to hanled by an Oil defender. Though Barreto had fired in a shot into the goal after the defender handled the ball, the referee pointed to the penalty spot and Barreto converted from the spot as calmly as ever.
Bagan kept on the pressure even after going into the lead for the second time and it was apparent as Oil India slowly lost their way into the match as Ishfaq and Lalampuia made penetrating runs.
Bhaichung came close to scoring twice and Barreto even came close to scoring his hattrick, but the score line read 2-1 in favour of Mohun Bagan.
Mohun Bagan meet Vasco on the 14th.