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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bagan bang 5 into East Bengal goal! Chidi alone 4!

Chidi, Chidi, Chidi, Chidi...a name that will no doubt give nightmares to any East Bengal fan for the years to come. A name that wrecked havoc to the East Bengal defense and hammered 4 goals alone in Mohun Bagan's 5-3 triumph over their arch rivals East Bengal. Manish Mathani scored the other goal for Bagan.
East Bengal went ahead through Nirmal Chettri from a corner in the 8th minute. Bagan never seemed down and out and pushed forward and soon got the equaliser. A brilliant run down the right flank by Surkumar, went past Govin Singh's challanges and played a minus to Chidi. Chidi calmly placed the ball past the East Bengal custodian.
East Bengal though tried to controll the game, it never seemed they could establish their say and soon from a lovely ball played in by Snehashih and then Barreto, Chidi missed a chance and fell to Manish, who took a screamer which deflected off Avra Mondal's chest and into the goal.East Bengal after the second goal seemed like a ship with its rudder.Soon Bagan piled on the third goal. Lovely little chip centre from Barreto and Chidi heads it into the East Bengal goal.Just moments later Bagan conceded a silly goal due to a misunderstanding between Shilton and Surkumar.East Bengal, suddenly after this goal exerted themselves and suddenly they seemed more a formidable side; and just moments before the half time interval, from a free kick Yakubu scored the qualiser. 3-3
The second half began and within 30 seconds, Bagan were up in front again.Snehashish's centre was met by a diving header at the second post by James Singh, and the header found Chidi, who slammed the ball into an open goal.
Barreto however, who was suffering from an injury aggravated it during the match and had to be taken off. Barreto left the field in tears and Ishfaq was just the man at that moment, one who would run after the ball and slam into the opposition and not let them settle down. East Bengal tried to capitalise on the situation, but the final nail in the coffin was driven when Chidi scored his fourth goal and Bagan's 5th from a curling corner from Marcos. Chidi headed in the 5th and final goal.
After that what followed was Marcos's experience and Karim's strategy, which literally closed all gates of hopes for East Bengal as Bagan went shutters down.Marcos in the second half played more of a role of a CDM and that really helped tighten up the defense.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bagan ease past Kalighat in CFL opener!

Bagan toyed with newly promoted Kalighat's defense and created a plethora of chances and should have won 10-0 had it not been for Chidi, who single handedly squandered atleast six easiest of easy chances along with a few from Branco, Suraj, Kulo and Shubhojit. At the final whislte, the scoreline read 1-0, the only goal coming through the right wing Shubhojit Majumdar.

What can be said, the second team of Mohun Bagan started the day against Kalighat, but Bagan through out dominated the play, with the newbie Manish Mathani quite an impressive role as a CAM. Lalram Luaha was entrusted as a CDM with Santa Kumar playing as Left wing. Karan Atwal made his debut for Bagan along with the veteran Deepak as CB. Zenith and Mohunraj played as side backs.

Manish once hit the post from inside the box and Chidi cme up with some wayward heads untill Shubhojot Mujumdar, off a nice through ball from Chidi, made a run up the right flank and took an out-step shot which swung into the first post past the keeper's hand.

Nothing much happened for Kalighat as they were kept defending for almost the whole of the match and Bagan came up with chances only to be foiled by Chidi. With the big Derby match coming just 3 days later it was shattering to see the only striker in absence of Barreto to be such off colour. Karim has but to pray for Chidi's stars to shine on the 25th. Chidi, however, managed to pick up a yellow card after a tussle with an African defender of Kalighat. It seems the opposition has spotted Chidi's weakness, his "hot head". He really needs to put some ice bag on his head and put his scoring boots on if he is to bring smiles on the faces of the Bagan fans.

:Somehow Chidi managed to kick this ball over the bar post, instead of just placing it into an empty goal.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

15 day trial for Palestinian international

Today in a press release, Three times I-League (National football League of India) winner Mohun Bagan A.C announced that Yousef Saeed Mezyan of Palestine will arrive Kolkata tomorrow for a 15 days trial. He is a player of Asian Quota. Yousef, the 31 year old Central Defender was a player of Palestine National team since 2000 and played 17 international match for his country.On Club level he played for Al - Ansar (Lebanon),Al - Mabarra (Lebanon), Al-Hekma (Lebanon), Al - Wehdat (Lebanon). Personal Details of Yousef Saeed Full name : Yousef Saeed Mezyan Place & of Birth : Beirut 1978 Nationality : Palestinian. Original Nationality Algerian Position : Central Defender Address : Lebanon Height : 190 cm Weight : 84kg Source:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Jayasuriya sign for Bagan along with Vaas!

CRICKET:Chaminda Vaas, the world renowned Sri Lankan Pacer had already signed for Bagan last season and now Sanath Jayasuriya, one of the most destructive batsmens ever, has signed for Mohun Bagan's cricket team(according to local electronic media reports). Though initially Sanath had a talk with Bagan rivals East Bengal, but in the end, Bagan nudged East Bengal out of the scene and made a deal with Sanath! Vaas and Jayasuriya will now play for Mohun Bagan in the Kolkata, whenever they are free from their international duties.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Chidi scores twice as Bagan make Durand Final!

Durand Cup:Bagan today scored twice through Edeh Chidi make it to the final of the Durand Cup where they will meet Churchill Brothers.
Bagan went ahead in the 19th minute. Mahindra equalised through Mohd. Rafi in the 70th minute and then Bagan got the winner from Edeh Chidi in the 76th minute.
Barreto suffering from an injury was not confirmed for the match, but he did comeout to win it for Bagan and played entire 90 minutes before being replaced by Kulothungan in the 91st minute.
Bagan went ahead in the 18th minute when James delivered a ball from the right on the second post, which Barreto headed to Chidi at the first post and he slotted it in. After the goal Mahindra stepped up their efforts, but the Bagan defense was upto the task.
However the midfield lacked not only creativity, it also was lacking in the blocking department. Micky failed to find a partner in Shubho Kumar, who was made to spend the entire 90 mins on the field but was not seen either tackling a ball or even attempting to block one, not to mention his centres were not on the money either. Surprising however, Koluthungan with his high work rate was made to sit out for the match. James and Snehashish were impressive down the flank and also chipped in with their defensive qualities. During the later half of the match, Barreto was seen defending in his own half leaving Chidi alone upfront.
Sangram was over all impressive under the bar pulling off a few spectacular saves, but he seemed clueless about when to advance. On two occasions he was found stranded on the top of the six yard box with ball watching above his head. On one such occasion he let in a header, from Mohd. Rafi, which, had Sangram been on the line, would not have gone in.
Barely six minutes had passed when James took a world class free kick to stun the Mahindra Keeper. His right footer, instead of swinging in for the advancing heads, swerved out and the advancing keeper had to jump back to save it for a corner. From the corner, Chidi drove in a powerful header, even though he was highly marked.
Bagan will meet Churchill Brothers on the 22nd of September and the word is out that Bagan with their full team will be out to take sweet sweet revenge of their IFA Shield defeat.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bagan book a berth in the Semis! Barreto scores a Brace!

Durand Cup: Jose Ramirez Barreto stayed on the pitch for just 20 minutes. It was enough to ensure Mohun Bagan’s passage to the semi-finals of the Durand Cup at the Ambedkar Stadium on Friday.
Playing his second match of the season, the Brazilian came up with two magical strikes in the first 15 minutes as Mohun Bagan defeated JCT, Phagwara, 2-0 to top Group II with six points and set up a semi-final clash with holders Mahindra United on Sunday.
In the first semi-final, Goa giants Churchill Brothers and Dempo Sports Club will meet each other.
It was a typical veni vidi vici performance by Barreto. Once his scoring job was over, the Brazilian was quickly taken off by the Mohun Bagan coach. He was replaced by Branco Cardozo.
As Barreto walked off the pitch, the crowd broke into a spontaneous applause. He is the only member of the Bagan squad that won the Durand Cup in 2001, Bagan’s last Durand Cup title so far.
The match was won and lost in the first 15 minutes. Barreto opened scoring in the fourth minute when he came from behind to trap the ball inside the box and beat the goalkeeper.
The second goal was even more spectacular. Latching on to a header by Chidi that fooled the defence, the Brazilian rushed in, beat the marker and then sent the ball in with a clever shot.
The decision to replace Barreto is debatable. Once he went off, JCT took charge of the match. They attacked relentlessly and were unlucky not to find the target. Bagan have themselves to blame for inviting pressure, despite taking a 2-0 lead so early in the match.
The Calcutta team got a golden chance to increase the lead when their Nigerian striker Edeh Chidi was brought down inside the box by Sarabjeet Singh. James Singh’s spot-kick hit the post before it was parried away by JCT goalkeeper Karanjit Singh.
Despite JCT’s apparent domination in the midfield, Chidi should have scored twice in the second half. On the second occasion, seasoned Daljit Singh made a goalline save.
At the other end, Sangram Mukherjee was impeccable under the bar. His best came in the first half when he leaped high to save a Baldeep Singh header that looked certain to go in.
Mohun Bagan: Sangram Mukherjee; Surkumar Singh, Deepak Mondal, Rakesh Masih and Mohanraj; James Singh, Micky Fernandes, Kulothungan (Subhakumar, 69) and Snehasis Chakrabarty (Shantakumar, 72); Edeh Chidi and Jose Barreto (Branco Cardozo, 20).
JCT: Karanjit Singh; Daljit Singh, Sarabjeet Singh, Gurwinder Singh and Jaspal Singh; Baldeep Singh, Penn Orji, Jagpreet Singh (Baljit Sr., 78) and Sakatar Singh (Lalchhuanmawia, 74); Balwant Singh and Baljit Sahni (Balraj Singh, 71). Referee: PK Bose.

Earlier in the day, East Bengal went down 2-0 to Mahindra United, who will meet Mohun Bagan in the Semis.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bagan begin with a bang!

On a day when their arch rivals East Bengal got kicked out of the Durand Cup being beaten in thier first match against Lajong FC, Mohun Bagan began their campaign in the Cup without any hiccup when they outclassed ONGC 5-1 in a Group II quarter-final league at the Ambedkar Stadium on Wednesday. The victory has put Mohun Bagan in an advantageous position in the three-team group as they now need a draw against JCT in the last league match to advance to the semi-finals. JCT had won 1-0 against ONGC. Pitted against a team that looked absolutely clueless both in the defence and midfield, the 16-time champions camped themselves in the rival half from the very beginning. The Calcutta team, who were up by two goals by the 15th minute, scored through Surkumar Singh (2), Edeh Chidi (2) and Jose Ramirez Barreto. In between the second and the third goal, Mohun Bagan also missed a penalty when Barreto was brought down inside the box by defender A. Naresh. Barreto himself took the spot kick that was saved by a diving ONGC goalkeeper Bilifang Narzary. The Mumbai team custodian, however, wasn’t in his elements when Surkumar Singh struck the first goal in the eighth minute. The Mohun Bagan right back swung a speculative shot towards the rival goal but Narzary, to the utter shock and dismay of his teammates, fumbled to collect and the ball bounced and hit the post before crossing the line. Surkumar Singh had a field day as he picked up his second goal well into the add-on time with a booming 30-yard shot. Encouraged by the success, Mohun Bagan increased the pressure. While their midfielders won almost every ball in the middle, both Edeh Chidi and Barreto looked dangerous whenever they had the ball. In the 18th minute, Chidi picked up the second goal off a melee inside the box. The Nigerian then played a role behind Barreto getting his first goal of the season. Chidi was again on the target in the 78th minute while Babatunde pulled one back for ONGC three minutes later. Teams Mohun Bagan: Sangram Mukherjee; Surkumar Singh, Deepak Mondal, Rakesh Masih and Mohanraj; James Singh (Subhojit Majumdar, 72nd), Micky Fernandes, K Kulothungan (Subha Kumar, 82nd) and Snehasish Chakraborty (Santakumar, 64th); Edeh Chidi and Jose Ramirez Barreto. ONGC: Billifang Narzary; KV Kalu, Kamal Thapa, Chukwuma Udofia and CS Saleel; L Lalmaunpuia, Sandip Sanga, J Lalsangzuala (C Kenistan, 71st) and A Naresh; Kaushik Bose and Babatunde. Report: The Telegraph

Thursday, September 10, 2009

10 men Bagan assure 40th Shield final appearance!

The margin Wednesday was marginal. But that didn’t stop Mohun Bagan from making their 27th IFA Shield final, edging past Chirag United 5-4 on penalties, after 120 minutes of football failed to break the 0-0 deadlock.
Indeed, for Bagan, the semi-final at the Salt Lake stadium began on a wrong note. In the absence of Jose Ramirez Barreto, much of the green and maroon brigade’s hopes were tied to Nigerian Edeh Chidi. But an ugly incident in the 10th minute upset all calculations.
Chidi and Chirag defender Eduardo were involved in a tussle for an aerial ball and that resulted in an altercation. In the heat of the moment, Chidi headbutted Eduardo, causing a minor cut on his nose. and referee .P. Thakur promptly issued marching orders to the Nigerian. Eduardo, who had started the argument, was let off with a yellow card.
The incident led coach Karim Bencharifa to alter his strategy and Bagan switched to defensive mode, employing a 4-4-1 formation, that saw the midfielders falling back time and again to bolster the back four.
Bagan, already at a loss in the absence of a striker, discovered that their attacking options virtually closed. With Kulothungan as the lone man upfront, Bencharifa’s team seldom ventured into rival territory.
Chirag, who enjoyed more ball possession, were hamstrung by the same drawback — a lack of good strikers. Brazilian Joshimar was too slow while Parveen Kumar appeared a rudderless. In the 30th minute, Joshimar failed reach a potentially dangerous cross inside the Bagan box and, then, in the 47th minute, Parveen wasted a Gouranga Biswas cross with only Shilton to beat.
Chirag created more openings in the second half but their finishing let them down. Parminder Singh’s long range effort was the best of the lot. Shilton did well to get his fingers to the ball before it hit the horizontal on its way out.
One wondered whether Chirag coach Subrata Bhattacharya could have deployed more men in the attacking zone, more so when 10-man Bagan were more interested in protecting their citadel and with Shilton in a rebelios mood seemed more than unbeatable. In the end it was Bencharifa’s gamble, of replacing an impressive Shilton with Sangram Mukherjee, in the last minute of extra time, that paid off as the latter blocked the decisive first penalty shot, taken by Jayanta Sen.
Marcos, Rakesh Masih, Snehasish Chakraborty, Surkumar Singh and James Singh converted to see Bagan through. Lalawmpuiya, Eduardo, Lalkamal Bhowmick and Subhasish Roychowdhury were on target for Chirag.
TEAMS: Mohun Bagan: Shilton Paul (Sangram Mukherjee 120’), Surkumar Singh, Deepak Mondal, Rakesh Masih, N. Mohanraj (Biswajit Saha 99’), L. James Singh, Micky Fernandes, Marcos Pereira, K. Kulothungan (Santa Kumar 78’), Snehasish Chakraborty, Edeh Chidi Chirag United: Sandip Nandy, Safar Sardar, Dulal Biswas (Subhasish Roychowdhury 60’), Eduardo, Manas Das, Gouranga Biswas, Jayanta Sen, Lalkamal Bhowmick, Praveen Kumar (Lalawmpuiya 91’), Parminder Singh (Bangkok 75’), Joshimar
Report: The Telegraph

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bagan into the Semis!

Mohun Bagan going into the match against Mahindra Utd for the Semi finalist decider only had to draw the match having a better goal difference. That's exactly what happened as an exciting game ended in a one all draw.
Bagan went ahead through Snehashish in the first half. From a lovely curving Jame's centre from the right Snehashish flew in from the left and headed in. Mahindra tried to drive issue after conceding the goal but Bagan defence held them off pretty well in the half.
The second half saw the introduction of Steven Dias for Mahindra and withing five minutes, Mahindra equalised through Mijin.
Mahindra knowing that nothing short of a win will see them through committed more men upfront and pressurised the Bagan defense. Somehow it seems that Bagan defense is lacking the strong binding of the defensive four. May be time bind them together but certainly defense will be a worry for Karim going into the semis.
Shilton Pal, the young keeper who had come in place of the Bagan skipper Sangram today, though could have done a bit more in saving the goal which Mijin scored, was otherwise flawless through out the match and saved almost two point blank range strikes from the Mumbai jeep men.
Chidi Edeh was mostly ineffective today courtesy some tight marking from Kali Alauddin, and more so the slushy ground condition also made life difficult for him.
However, play was stopped for a span of 10 mins during the end when MU custodian Shubhashish Roychoydhury was hit by a missile coming off from some dissatisfied spectators.
However play resumed and Bagan defense spear headed by today's captain Dipak Mondal saved the day.
Bagan meet Chirag on the 9th of September.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bagan kick off in a rollicking style! Trounce George 4-0!

Where City giant, East Bengal started off their 2009 season with a nightmare 3-1 defeat to TFA yesterday in the IFA Shield group stage match and thus knocking themselves out(mathematically) of the competition in the very first match, their City rival Mohun Bagan AC got off to a dream start, pumping four goals against George Telegraph in their season opener match in the IFA Shield Group stage match. Next they meet Mahindra Utd. A mere draw will see them through to the Semi Final against either TFA or Chirag.
Today Bagan debutant Edeh Chidi opened the account for Bagan, and just like Adebayor scored for Manchester City in his very first match for the club in the begging moments of the match, Chidi scored his first goal in the 3rd minute, from a cross from the right.
However, he could have doubled the lead half way into first half from the penalty spot but all he could manage was a shot that sailed high over the cross bar.
However, 38 minutes on the clock, James Singh scored from a header from almost the top of the penalty box.
Barely a minute later, Chidi found himself free and after a solo run, placed calmly past the GT custodian to take the score to 3-0 for Bagan. At half time, score was 3-0 for Bagan.
In the second half, George players did manage to put together something and throw something at Bagan and they managed to the hit the bar twice. Mohunraj in the second half was impressive. Surkumar, Koluthungan, Micky were all impressive considering this was the first match and also the ground condition was a slight slushy owing to the heavy rainfall from last night till today morning.
87th minute on the clock and the substitute Suvo Kumar, from about 35 yards away took a blinder with his left foot, it sailed into the goal much to the joy of an already satisfied house.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bagan scoop Surkumar Singh!

Mohun Bagan, much to the surprise of all scooped the prolific Indian Right-wing Back Surkumar Singh. Surkumar today visited the Mohun Bagan club along with Rakesh Masih and Dipak Mondal and after some negotiation, signed for Bagan. He was presented his jersey today at the Club Press Meeting.
Last Season, Habibur Rahman Mondal almost single handed took care of the Right back position in all the competitions Bagan participated, Calcutta League, I League, Federation Cup and the AFC Cup. This year, Surkumar will give him some respite.
After an impressive show in the Nehru Cup, Surkumar would be rearing to give his best for the National Club. We wish all the very Best to Surkumar Singh.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Snehashish begin practice under Karim's watchful eyes!

After the drama that unfolded following Snehashish's intention to play for Bagan this season, the IFA has given green signal to him and now he being a free player can sign for Bagan. Snehashish who at first claimed that he is a free player and he has no standing contract with East Bengal was rebuked by the East Bengal officials and they furnished a document that showed Snehashish's contract. On being challenged it came out that there was no flow of consideration in that contract making it void. Moreover, Snehashish accused the E.B officials of forging his signature. The matter was put forward to the IFA player status committee, who after much ado came up with the solution that since E.B has confessed that they have not paid any sum to the lanky left half, there is no contract and Snehashish is indeed a free player, but imposed a hefty Rs 2 lac fine on the footballer for bringing false charges of forging signature against a club. East Bengal has been found guilty of forging signature in the past, however, this time they were acquitted by the IFA but Snehashish along with Bagan officials are not buying any of it. Snehashish has stated that he will appeal against the decision. However, Snehashish, today came down to the Bagan ground to catch up on the lessens he had missed so far. Karim has asked him to focus on his physical fitness for now because "he has a lot of catching up to do in that department". He has missed the initial few vital endurance practice sessions. Snehashish was seen takings laps round the ground while others practiced with the ball.He will be signing in favour of Mohun Bagan very soon and will most probably be seen sporting a no. 25 jersey. Meanwhile, nothing has yet been decide on former Bagan man , Tomba Singh. Till now he has been working hard to bring back his fitness and Karim is yet to take a decision on this matter.

Friday, July 10, 2009

After Snehashish, Nabi accuses East Bengal of forging his signature!

Snehashish had already accused East Bengal of forging his signature and forcing him to stay with East Bengal, when he has expressed his unwillingness to stay at East Bengal anymore and his will to play for Mohun Bagan. And now following in his footsteps, his former East Bengal team mate Rahim Nabi has accused East Bengal of counterfeiting his signature.
Nabi, who is in Spain with the India international squad, informed the reporters in Kolkata that to his knowledge, he had a one year contract with East Bengal, which was bound to expire with the 2008-09 season. East Bengal now claims to have a three year contract with Nabi and also claims that he has been given the captain's post for the coming season. Nabi, who is least concerned about his captain's band, says that he had neither signed a three year contract nor have the officials made him sign any new contract this year and asks on what basis East Bengal coach Subhash Bhowmick has named him in his squad and pointed out that beside his name, there is no captain tag.
Shedding light on his thought, he clearly speaks out that he has an attractive offer from Mohun Bagan and asks why should he be forced to play for a lesser payroll for East Bengal?
Moreover, he says that "Shubhash Bhowmick has clearly claimed that he does not want any unwilling horses in his side, then why not leave me?"
Further he said, that even though East Bengal had a contract with Jayanta Sen, they let him go, so where is the problem?
He further said that if necessary he will refer the matter to the IFA and AIFF or may be directly to AIFF following in Bhaichung's footsteps.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Karim earns AFC "A" Licence

Karim had been to Singapore to earn the AFC 'A' licence for coaching. Karim, however, did have a "A" licence which he had acquired from his home country Morocco. But unfortunately, AFC or UEFA didnot recognize it. Therefore, Karim after the end of the season had gone to Singapore and has earned the AFC "A" licence for coaching.
Meanwhile, the AFC Governing body has declared that to constitute a professional team, the Indian clubs will have to have a coach with "A" licence. Except for Mohun Bagan's Karim, other big clubs of Kolkata doesnot have a "A" licence coaches.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bagan sign 11 players today!

Mohun Bagan had started off their player signing episode just two days ago with James Singh sr. staying one more year at Mohun Bagan. Today, 11 players were signed by Mohun Bagan for the coming season. The names of the players signed so far are as follows:-
1. James singh sr. (signed earlier)
2. Sangram Mukherjee
3. Shilton Pal
4. Chiradeep
5. Pralay Dutta
6. Sakhram Mandi
7. Biswajit Saha
8. Subhokumar
9. Subhajit majumdar (u-19 from TFA)
10. Kartick Kisku
11. Suraj Mandal
12. Seikh Azim

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mohun Bagan suspend Bhaichung Bhutia!

Mohun Bagan have suspended Bhaichung Bhutia for a period of six months for neglecting the club duties but this is not it, as the player can take the matter to the Players’ Status Committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) by routing his request through the Indian Football Association, which is the state football association of West Bengal. The decision was taken by the Mohun Bagan Executive Committee which met on Monday and unanimously came out with the above decision. The Mariners had earlier show caused Bhaichung questioning his commitment and distributed copies of the same amongst the scribes. The club had asked the Indian skipper to reply within 48 hours, which he failed to do and in the eventual letter which came from Bhaichung, Mohun Bagan weren’t satisfied with the contents. “We are not at all satisfied with Bhaichung’s reply. It has nothing to do with what we’d asked him in the show-cause notice,” said Bagan vice-president Subrata Mukherjee. According to the club, Bhaichung hadn’t sought permission from his employers as to whether he would like to join the dance reality show. Interestingly, on several occasions, Bagan officials and Coach Karim Bencherifa have gone on record showing their support for Bhaichung’s commitment to the reality show. But whether Bhaichung has a written letter of having being granted the permission isn’t known. Meanwhile, the club vice-president stated that Bhaichung wouldn’t be barred from appearing for the national team during the six month suspension. Opinion regarding this decision of Mohun Bagan has been divided. While, some believe that Bagan are right and have played their cards right in suspending Bhaichung, others feel that the Sikkimese Sniper could get away with it. It is believed that Mohun Bagan have the right to suspend their player for breach of disciplinary rules and defying the club’s standards. Like in every contract, there are certain clauses which states that the club could suspend if the player does XYZ and it seems that Bagan have gone by the rule book. However, a player cannot be barred from playing until he is found guilty of a drug-related or a criminal offence. Bhaichung would have to convince the Players’ Status Committee regarding this and prove that he had, indeed, sought the permission of Bagan before joining the reality show. While Bhaichung had been given the permission, it was done so under various agreed terms such as not missing the training sessions; which wasn’t fulfilled by the Bagan skipper. Bhaichung Bhutia is in the north-eastern region of India and wasn’t available for comments. Report:

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Edeh Chidi to dawn the Green and Maroon for 09-10 season!

Mohun Bagan today unveiled their third foreigner. After much speculations about who would be the third foreigner, today holding a press conference, declared Edeh Chidi will be the strike partner for Barreto this season. With Bhaichung uncertain, Bagan needed a player upfront who can replace Bhaichung and Edeh Chidi might just be the one. He is young and is a poacher and will certainly enjoy Barreto's company. For the 2008-09 season, Edeh Chiddi, the Nigerian sensation, scored 11 goals in I-League and 4 goals in Federation Cup for his prevoius club, Mahindra United. 22 year old Chidi confessed the name Mohun Bagan attracted his a lot. " It’s the most prestigious football club of India and I wanted to play in front of the huge numbers of fans of the club. I am really overwhelmed after joining the club and really want to win something for the club in this season. I would consider myself lucky if I will be able to be a part of the success of the club in this season." to quote Chidi. About Barreto, Chidi commented, "Barreto is a good guy and also a good player. I am looking forward to start the attack with him in green and maroon jersey." Now what remains to be seen is which two foreigners feature in the Kolkata League. Marcos might miss the CFL campaign for Bagan considering the fact that Bagan has a packed Midfield this season.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Yakubu, Nabi probables!

After what seems Mohun Bagan may lose Bhaichung after the show-cause row, Bagan officials have reported to have targetted Yusuf Yakubu of East Bengal FC. Bhaichung, after his commitment towards Mohun Bagan was aksed has gone public to state that he doesnot wish to continue playing for Mohun Bagan and has demanded release from the club. It is reported that East Bengal, who has had a lean transfer season will jump with all hands on deck for Bhaichung. Beto has already turned down East Bengal so now they will target Bhaichung if he is released from Mohun Bagan. Bagan officials however, are looking out for a possible replacement for Bhaichung and it is known that the present body of officials trust on tried and tested players rather than bringing a fresh face. It is reported that Yusuf Yakubu has been approached, since Yakubu had a good outing last season and also the fact Barreto and Yakubu has played with each other in Mahindra a few seasons back. Yakubu has still not signed a contract with East Bengal this season and it is known that Yakubu has been offered by Bagan with a 10% hike from his present fees in East Benagl. Yakubu ahs not decided yet and he has asked officials of both the clubs to give him time to think. If however, Yakubu does sign for Bagan, and Bhutia for East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal will not have to pay each other a sum of 10 lakhs transfer fee since that rule is not applicable for foreign players and Baichung Bhutia.
It is further reported that Bagan officials have also offered Rahim Nabi. Nabi has been offered 27 lakhs from East Bengal and the captaincy for this year. Nabi has been persistent that wants a contract worth 30 lacs.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Manju signs for Bagan!

N.S. Manju today signed for Bagan to stay yet another season at Mohun Bagan. Manju had a more or less good seasonat Mohun Bagan, scoring some important goals and performing his defensive responsibilities to best of his ability.
Manju, after the season had ended, was not initially willing to stay at Bagan as he wanted to leave so as to play along with Venkatesh. However, club officials have done their part and retained them for another season. Last year too, Manju had insisted on leaving Bagan. The atmosphere at Bagan and the contract however has made sure that Manju would stay yet another season at Bagan and take care of the Bagan defense along with Deepak Mondal.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Alas it is ALAHS! A Must Read for all Soccer Fans!

If your hangdog husband cries “Alas” every time his football team loses, know that he is suffering from ‘Alahs’...
Wives and girlfriends of fanatical football fans are probably inured to their partners turning into characters from a Bret Easton Ellis novel whenever their team loses. But supporters of the Gunners may have displayed symptoms of what is being dubbed “Arsenal Lost At Home Syndrome” (ALAHS) after the team were soundly beaten 3-1 last Wednesday night by Manchester United.
Despite the name, the syndrome can affect supporters of any losing team. Tell-tale signs include depression, frenzied sobbing, head-butting the wall, throwing heavy objects through the window (especially the television set during a live match), impotence, and — potentially — premature death. In 2003, a study revealed that after a home defeat, male fatalities from heart attacks and strokes increase by 30 per cent.
“Having your football team lose is an extreme stressor,” explains Dr Daniel Freeman, a consultant clinical psychologist. “Hence, for example, the 25 per cent increase in hospital admissions for heart attacks which was recorded following England’s loss to Argentina in the World Cup penalty shoot-out in 1998.”
Company director Andy Lucey, 36, a fanatical Arsenal supporter for 20 years, has it luckier than many. These days, when his side loses, he merely goes into an unresponsive, catatonic state for two days. “I retreat into my own world if they lose, in a major sulk. I can’t explain how much it hurts. It’s just utter, utter numbness and desolation. You must not attempt to communicate with me or even look at me when this happens. I even unplug the phone so as to guarantee I’m incommunicado.”
His live-in girlfriend, Claire, has learnt to adopt certain coping strategies. “On match days, I become really uptight. It’s too stressful to sit with Andy if Arsenal are on television, so I go upstairs and, from there, listen to him screaming uncontrollably at the set. I pray, ‘Please God, let them win!’.
“If he’s away watching a match, I have to find out the score to gauge how to react when he returns. If Arsenal have lost, he’s really, really bad. You see it in his incredibly tense body language as soon as he opens the door. When this happens, the rules are: don’t make eye contact; don’t speak to him unless spoken to; don’t even try to calm him. Just stay well away.”
According to Rita Wright, a psychodynamic counsellor who regularly treats supporters of the disorder: “The psyche of today’s males has changed dramatically. With modern gender roles confused — men aren’t now automatically the breadwinners and can often be subordinate to high-achieving women — many feel pretty lost, with a fragile sense of self. What little they do have is often redirected onto their football team. In effect, they are Arsenal. Therefore, when Arsenal fails, they feel that they themselves have failed.”
But why should such extreme reactions be unique to football fans? Why, for example, weren’t living rooms around the country full of sullen Roger Federer fans after his defeat in last year’s Wimbledon final?
According to psychiatrist Cosmo Hallstrom, it’s because football is a uniquely primitive, tribal spectator sport. “Loyalty to a club usually starts young when, as a child, you get induced into the ‘tribe’ by receiving your first football shirt; opposing teams are effectively your tribal enemies. The supporters’ zeal can become religious in fervour. As a young doctor in Liverpool, I remember a badly injured young man being admitted. In extremis, he asked to see Bill Shankly instead of a priest.”
Medical professionals are divided over treatment. Some suggest cognitive behaviour therapy to influence those otherwise uncontrollable emotions, others prescribe match-day sex as a quick-fix solution, as this helps boost mood-enhancing oxytocin levels. However, it might prove tricky, as a medical survey suggested that a man’s testosterone levels plunges by 27 per cent immediately after his team’s defeat.
So for those who do take their team’s defeats to heart, the most obvious solution appears to be: why not support a more successful side instead? But to suggest to a football fan that he change his allegiance may well send his blood pressure through the roof.
“In truth, all you can really do is give him a wide berth,” says psychiatrist Dr Shamila Moodley, “and be grateful that the season is nearly over.”

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bagan asks Bhutia to show cause!

Mohun Bagan today asked Bagan captain Bhaichung Bhutia to show cause for missing club practice sessions during the season. Bhaichung had been busy participating in a dance reality show on Television during the fag end of the 2008-09 season. A crucial time when Bagan were on hot pursuit for the I League title chasing Churchill Bros. Though at the time, Karim Benchariffa, the Bagan coach had said that Bhaichung had taken leave after taking his permission, club in the letter has said that Bhaichung had taken permission from the coach, but not from the club and for his absence, the club has suffered.
Moreover, Bhaichung also missed out on the exhibition match held in Jalpaiguri last week end.
Bagan has asked Bhutia to show cause for such absence.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bagan sign Genius, Micky!

With Mumbai FC dismantling its side, big clubs are fishing in players and Mohun Bagan has already roped in three Mumbai FC players. Bagan has already signed contracts with Riston Rodrigues and Koluthungan of Mumbai FC and the now the news is, Bagan has also signed Selwyn Fernandes. Selwyn Fernandes, who plays as a defensive midfielder has experience of laying in Kolkata. He had played for East Bengal a few seasons back was not successful. Hope he has developed since and put up a reformed performance this season dawning the green and maroon jersey.
However, the Big news is, Micky Fernandes has inked contract with Bagan for the coming season. Micky confessed that he had his eyes set on playing in Kolkata and for Mohun Bagan for last few seasons. This time, getting in touch with Debashish Dutta, he made no delay, though he says, East Bengal were up offering Micky, but he preferred Bagan.
Another signing that was completed was Zenith Genius of Churchill Brothers. the 23 year old RM was a regular under Karim Bencharifa in Churchill, but found hard to make it to the starting 11 under Zoran. The young Manipuri, has powerful shot and operates well on the right side.
It is heard, that JCT's Brazillian striker Eduardo Escobar might well be the third foreinger for Bagan this season. It is expected that will sign the contract with Bagan soon.
Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan are set to release Lukram James Singh, Sargolsem James Singh & Shylo Malswamtluanga from their current squad.
However, today after practice, the Bagan young goalie Shilton Pal requested the club officials to release him. The talented young goalie didnot get many appearances under his belt this season with Sangram Mukherjee in top form. He has offer from Chirag Utd and is willing to leave Bagan for Chirag.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mohun Bagan battle to become Best in India! Wins Super Cup 2009!

Mohun Bagan finish 2008-09 as the best in India!
2008-09 is a season that will not be forgotten any soon. Bagan has played 4 tournaments, in India and has emerged deserved Champions in 3 of them and runner up the one.
Today, Federation Cup winner, Mohun Bagan met I league winner Churchill Bros for the Super Cup tie in Gurgaon and emerged victorious to end the season on a high and beat the best in the country to capture that spot.
Bagan and Churchill both started the match cautiously, trying to measure each other. However, Bagan made more of the headway and Bhaichung was given a few opportunities to score but failed. However, Bagan drew first blood through Manju, whose looping header foxed the keeper who watched the ball drop inside the goal. Bagan took the lead in the 21st minute. Churchill started to pressurize thereafter but Bagan defense comprising of Habibur, Manju, Deepak and Mohunraj showed much discipline and cut off ball supply to Odafa, the highest goal scorer in the I League. Odafa and Deepak kept Odafa and Felix under strict vigilance and did not allow any space. However, at the very end of the first half, from a Vashum centre, the ball deflected of Deepak and rolled into the Bagan net. Churchill equalized.
The second half saw end to end action, both teams giving their best and both teams created chances and came to scoring a few occasions. Shilton Pal, who was trusted under the Bagan bar, came after a long injury lay off and pulled off some good saves to keep Bagan in the game.
Bagan kept up the pressure and Barreto was denied a definite penalty, when Churchill defender pulled the Brazilian ace down, as he made his was on his way to score the second for Bagan. Referee M. Suresh did not heed any plea for a penalty.
However, as they say, Cometh the hour, Cometh the man and in the 88th minute, from a Mohunraj centre, Barreto headed in the winner, but in the process injured himself. He hit his face against the defender in front of him and received a bad cut in his mouth. He was taken to the hospital soon after and according last news received from an official sources, Barreto has been reported to be doing okay.
Bagan met Churchill thrice this season and have defeated them twice while got beaten once.
Mohun Bagan earned their 2nd Super Cup title in just three appearances. Last time they had beaten Dempo SC, the then I League champion 4-0. Bagan has been once the undisputed Indian Champions, when they had won the Federation Cup and the I League in the same season.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Koluthungan and Riston Rodrigues leave Mumbai FC for Mohun Bagan!

With Mumbai FC facing a financial dilemma, the heart of the club in the form of their central midfielders – Kalia Koluthungan and Riston Rodrigues have switched their loyalties to I-League runners-up Mohun Bagan.
While Riston signed up with the Green and Maroons on Sunday, Kulothungan put pen to paper only on Tuesday evening at his home in Thanjavur.
Riston said, “Just a fortnight back, Mumbai FC were offering me a good deal for the next three years but due to the problems the club is facing, I had no option but to move on.
“We had an informal meeting with the coach and some from the management told us to sign up if we get a good offer from other clubs rather than waiting for one at Mumbai FC.”
The 29 year old was approached by the likes of East Bengal and Pune FC as well but the medio opted for Mohun Bagan for getting to work under Coach Karim Bencherifa.
“Pune FC had approached but I can’t take any chances with a new club. You can’t trust new clubs any more as they can shut at any moment. Teams are Mohun Bagan are here to stay. I have signed for two years,” added Riston.
Kulothungan too added that the confusion at Mumbai FC meant that he had to look out for offers. The 29 year old had a great season with Mumbai FC scoring seven goals in the I-League and thereby in contention for the Best Midfielder of the season award.
“I have signed for a year with Mohun Bagan and have informed our coach David Booth as he had asked us to keep him posted if we do sign elsewhere,” said Kulothungan.
Several other players are also on the radar of other I-League clubs and it remains to be seen what Mumbai FC are to conjure up to deal with this imminent problem.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A depleted Bagan side let in six!

Jehad Al-Hussien Fadel scored a hattrick as Kuwait SC blanked Mohun Bagan 6-0 in their AFC Cup group D match at the Kuwait SC Stadium in Kuwait Tuesday. The defeat put an end to Bagan’s AFC Cup run. The winners led 4-0 at half-time. According to information received here, Fadel drew the first blood in the 10th minute and netted the second in the 22nd. Frontliner Farag Laheeb Saad added two more in the 34th and 39th respectively, before Fadel got his third in the 72nd. Six minutes later the Kuwaitis got their sixth goal when Bagan defender NS Manju scored an own goal. This was Bagan’s fourth defeat on the trot in the cup.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mohun Bagan finish second best! Suspending 4 key players pays off for AIFF!

Mohun Bagan had nothing to lose going into the match with needing nothing short of a miracle. Churchill losing point to Mohd. Sp., who are fighting relegation and Bagan winning the match against M.U with a broken team, four first team players suspended in the last match, courtesy referee Rizuanur- was something impossible.Churchill thumped 6 goals past the Mohd. Sp. keeper and became the I league champions and Bagan finished Runners Up, three points short, following their loss against M.U.
Surprising? not really! It was a well executed 'plan' by AIFF. A Churchill official is incidentally a high official in the AIFF. AIFF made sure Bagan do not go into the match with their full strength side, just to play safe.
In the last match, referee Rizuanur showed 4 yellow cards to 4 Bagan players, all key players in Karim's scheme of things erasing Bagan's hope of a miracle. Marcos, Masih, Manju, two midfield players and a CB along with Lakamal had to sit out. While Vasan came in Manju's place and makeshift midfielder, Rahul Kumar and an out of place James singh hopelessly tried to cope with MU attacks.
The Television commentators were heard complaining that MU were missing the services of the out of form N.P. Pradeep. Very insightful piece of commentary indeed, but they missed to mention, even for a second that Bagan were lacking the services of three inform players- Marcos, Masih and Manju.
About the match though, Bagan really didnot settle into the match from the beginning. It was 10 mins in when the news came in that Churchill were leading 2-0 against Mohd. Sp. and that meant no matter what Bagan would do, they would still remain the runners' up, unless they take in a dozen of goals so as to allow Sporting Clube slip past them.
Bagan though tried to score, the midfield and defense really failed them today. Too many balls were played through the defense, as sorry to say, Vasan really doesnot deserve to play in the Mohun Bagan defense. From one such balls, played in between Deepak and Odafe, Deepak failed to connect and Edeh Chidi taking Odafe in his stride took Sangram away from the goal and placed the ball into the net through the right of the keeper.
However, Bagan came close to scoring first through Bhaichung, but it was not to be, no gifts for guessing...its the Mr. Referee again. This is the third time in a span of 4 matches(against Chirag Utd, Dempo, Mahindra) that Bhaichung's goal has been disallowed. Mere coincidence? Not conspiracy for sure, I hope.

The second half saw, few changes- Branco IN, Rahul Kumar OUT; Lalram IN, Mama OUT. One still felt Karim would have done better had he sacrificed Vasan, and brought in Deepak in CB, send Rahul Kumar to LB and bring in Branco. However, Karim later had to bring Deepak in CB, when Odafe, injured replaced Mohunraj, who went in LB.
Bagan thought tired to restore parity, defense and a malfunctioning midfield didnot allow Bagan to settle down and play their game. Mahindra kept up the tempo and the defense allowed too much space for MU forwards. Edeh Chidi was left free on a number of occasions and he made Bagan pay as from one such opportunity, he drove in a ball home from the top of the box, completely unmarked.
After the second goal went in, news came in from Goa that Mohd. Sp has pulled one back. Bagan as it seemed were up and willing to do something, but to no avail. Bhaichung and Barreto did show some sparks of personal brilliance, but were soon out numbered in the crowd of MU players in their own half.
Bagan came close to scoring when Branco glanced a ball goalwards, but luck favoured the MU goalie as the ball struck his boot and went out. Bagan continued their bona fide attempts to score and in the 90th minute, from a Ishfaq centre, Barreto magnificently glanced a header goalwards, but just as the keeper thought he had saved it with a diving effort, Branco slid in and scored an opportunistic goal.
Bagan retained their second spot and ended on 43 points along with Sporting Clube de Goa, but lead them in goal difference.
Again Goal difference? only difference...its for the better this time for Karim!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I will probably play my last game in Green and Maroon colours: Bhaichung

Indian football captain Baichung Bhutia is all keyed up. He has led the country and his club Mohun Bagan with reasonable success this season and is now waiting for a fitting end to it. Of course, he is aware that even a win against Mahindra United in the Capital on Thursday, the last day of the I-League, may not ensure his team the title. Never one to shirk challenges, Bhutia talks about the season that is all set for a climactic finish. Excerpts:

On the threshold of winning the first I-League title for Mohun Bagan, what are your feelings and predictions? If it happens, it will be fantastic for me as well as the team. This season, Mohun Bagan have won everything they have played. And now, we are in a strange situation. It’s tight and very absorbing as well. I am hoping to win the match and then see...

After 10 wins on the trot in I-League, where did Bagan lose ground to Churchill Brothers? It was the Churchill match in Goa. We lost 3-1, played very badly. I was suspended. Barreto got injured. That loss turned out to be very crucial and has made all the difference.

How did the overall season go? I couldn’t have asked for a better season. India did very well this season and so did my club. My contribution in both causes has been quite satisfactory. It will be overwhelming if we could manage to win the league now.

How is your body responding to such a gruelling season? Right now it feels very tiring. Travelling has taken a huge toll on all of us. There has been hardly any time to recover. We have been flying in and out for AFC Cup matches as well.

Is your body saying ‘how long’ or is it saying ‘carry on’? Well, it’s not that bad. At the end of the season every player is tired. Actually, now mental fatigue is catching up. If at the start of the season my body starts asking questions, then I will know it is time to take a call.

For the first time, a foreign coach could win the I-League. Do you think, it’s going to become a trend from now on? I can’t say about that. But Karim Bencherifa (Bagan coach) has done a great job and the results are there for everyone to see. He has handled the pressure very well considering that it was his first season in Kolkata. But one thing is for sure, to win anything a coach has to have a good team. The signings must be good during the transfers.

What is Dempo or Churchill’s recipe for success? They have kept the same group for a long time. In fact, Churchill are reaping the fruits of Bencherifa’s hard work. Suppose Bagan bring in 15 new players next season, the team is unlikely to find much success. How has 12 years of NFL helped the national team? I have always believed that club coaches produce players. Wayne Rooney was not the product of Fabio Capello or Sven-Goran Eriksson. He is an Everton product. Our clubs must realize this. Karim can claim that he has made Rakesh Masih but how many club coaches can claim to have done that? Most of them (coaches) hardly give opportunities to new players. And all clubs have foreigners in the striking position. The federation (AIFF) has to address this issue.

Will you ever return to East Bengal? At the moment I am happy with Bagan and I have a year’s contract to serve. But the possibility of joining East Bengal is bleak. Unless something drastic happens, I will probably play my last game in Green-and-Maroon colours.

No emotions left for the red-and-gold shirt? I have very good memories with East Bengal and also equally bad memories. I would rather leave it at that.

How is the players’ association doing? It is doing well and slowly growing. But the players’ association is a new concept in our country and has not been fully accepted as yet. The clubs and the AIFF must realize that the association is there to help, it is not their enemy
Source: Times of India

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Trophies are what matter: Bagan coach Bencherifa

"Well, what now?" Karim Bencherifa could only come up with a chuckle from long-distance. It was the morning-after syndrome. Mohun Bagan have notched a miraculous victory in the I-League on Sunday night and the team’s Moroccan coach was going through the newspapers, trying to soak in all that had been written. As the proxy war with Churchill Brothers for the I-League title continues, Bencherifa opened his heart to TOI.
Your first season in Kolkata wasn’t that bad. Are you satisfied?
A: One can’t be satisfied because that means the start of the downfall. I think we could have done better both in AFC and I-League, where I think we still have a chance to win. Having said that, I don’t want to take anything out of what the team did during this season. It was a long tough season, especially given our small operational group. I feel proud that Bagan have taken the lead to end Kolkata football’s struggle - this was the best season for Bagan since 2001 and the best for any Kolkata club in the last 5 years.
Between Goa and Kolkata, where do you think is the work atmosphere better?
A: For me it does not matter. I am a professional coach and I should give my best wherever I am, no matter what the working atmosphere is. It’s definitely different but not necessarily better here or there. Pressure is tremendous on the Kolkata teams. Sometimes people have unrealistic expectations; winning every game, winning every competition. It is simply impossible. But what is strange is that some of these people are part of the football fraternity and also claim to understand the game. You just look at Mohun Bagan this season. We are the most successful team in the city but yet we are the most criticised in Kolkata by a section of the media, some ex-players and even some coaches. In contrast, the football community all over India highlights and praises our team. This does not help the cause of Bengal’s football.
Do you think that one match (against East Bengal) scuppered your calculations in the I-League?
A: Not really. If we are finding it difficult in the home stretch of the I-League, it’s because of the first five games where we did not win even one match. I know some coaches can claim success because of one match but I am not that lucky. My club is more demanding. My club wants trophies not only one match!
Do you think the city attaches too much importance to one match?
A: It is normal for the fans to give importance to derby matches but we as professionals have to keep it in perspective as well. I don’t think I will keep my job just by winning only against East Bengal. Trophies are what matters in football.
How difficult is it playing in Asia and the I-League simultaneously with the roster that Indian teams have?
A: Extremely difficult. Especially when the "operational group" is too small; players can’t play 100% games of the season. Take for example Cristiano Ronaldo. He started only 60% of the games last season because there are good replacements for him. For us, we don’t have any replacements for players like Baichung Bhutia, Jose Barreto, Ishfaq Ahmed, Marcos, Deepak Mondal. The replacements need time to mature.
Don’t you think that coaches should have more say in team building?
What are your plans for the coming season?
A: Sometimes it is not possible because the coach can be changed in the middle of the season or can be hired after the crucial transfer market. So, the coach must have the ability to work with what he has.
You have worked with the best strikers on show. Who has impressed you most?
A: Odafa, Mboyo, Baichung, Barreto, even the youngster Branco all are good strikers - each one of them has his own approach to the game and has strengths but all of them are effective and can get you goals. I enjoyed working with each of them.
Lastly, do you think I-League is the answer to India’s footballing woes?
A: I-League is definitely a strong asset for Indian football. National team is another one and youth development is the forgotten one. If you take a look at the three assets, they are closely linked to each other. They have to go all together without one harming the other one because all are a must for any progress to happen.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Manju keeps Bagan hoping, Churchill waiting!

Bagan today had a tough home match against Dempo SC at the Barasat Stadium and needed to win to keep their title hopes alive and take the 2008-09 I League right to the wire. Now the situation is such that the title will be decided on the last day of the League, when Bagan meet Mahindra Utd. in Delhi and Churchill Bros. meet Mohd. Sp in Goa.
Bagan today wrested a vital win from the jaws of a draw. The draw would have ended Bagan dreams for winning the I League, but Bagan defender N.S. Manju made sure Bagan fans have a good nights sleep as a clinched the winner in the last minute of the game.
Bagan, who this season had won the two previous encounters with Dempo, (once in the first leg in Goa and then in the Federation Cup final) were determined to win this match and extend their tally to 13 wins in this I League. Bagan went on the offensive and played some good football in the first half. Though Dempo tried to grip the match, Bagan drew first blood through Barreto in the 28th minute.
Bhaichung scored again, but it was over-ruled by the referee. The referee seemed a bit too biased towards the Goan side as a lot of Dempo tackles went unnoticed.
Dempo though had their share of chances in the first half, Bagan also came close to scoring on a number of occasions through Ishfaq, Barreto and Bhaichung, but they were not accurate.
In the second half, after Dempo dramatically took the field late than usual, continued with their tough tackles and went grossly unnoticed, instead Marcos was shown a yellow card and he will have to sit for the last match.
However, Dempo's attempts paid off when Ranty Martins headed in the equaliser. Bagan seemed a thunderstruck and were lacking in ideas over a stretch of time, but Barreto & Co. like professionals with their "never say die" attitude kept testing the Dempo defense and Barreto, Bhaichung kept the Dempo custodian Abhijit busy under the bar.
on the 93rd minute, however, Barreto chipped in a ball and Manju headed in the winner.
Sangram to under the Bagan bar stood tall and denied the Dempo forwards on a number of occasions.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Barreto gets back passport, Bagan’s match rescheduled!

Mohun Bagan striker Jose Ramirez Barreto today got back his passport after a court ruling was issued in this regard. “Barasat Court today issued a directive to hand him (Barreto) over his passport,” Mohun Bagan general secretary Anjan Mitra said. The Brazilian’s passport was confiscated after he was arrested in March 2008 at the Kolkata airport for allegedly carrying dollars in excess of the permissible amount. Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan’s AFC Cup match against the Syrian outfit Al Karama, which was earlier scheduled on May 7, will now be played on May 19 at the Howrah Stadium. The match had to be rescheduled with the fixture clashing with Lok Sabha polls in Howrah. Mohun Bagan will play their away tie against Al Wihdat of Jordan at King Abdullah International Stadium on May 5. Bagan are languishing at the bottom of Group D and are yet to open their account.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

George Telegraph's Shubha Kumar may play for Bagan next season!

After a successful season with George Telegraph last year in the Kolkata Football League, Shubho Kumar had caught the attention of many and the veteran Prasun Bhattacharya went to extent of saying that Shubho Kumar should immediately be signed by Mohun Bagan in order to render more stabilty to their midfield. However, as the transfer window opens in a few weeks, already players are entering into negotiations with the clubs and the news is that the much sought after player in Kolkata, Shubho Kumar who has had offers from all the three clubs of Kolkata, has showed his interest to play for Bagan and according to Shubo Kumar himself, the negotiation is in progress with the Bagan officials and high chances are that he would be signing for Bagan for the coming season.
Media reports also suggest that Bagan have offered Chirag's left half back Snehashish.
In the coming season, the Kolkata Footbal League and the I League will be played simultaneously, so Bagan will have to sign a number of quality players who can render stability to the side in the Local league, because key players will be rested for the KFL in order to keep them fresh for the I League matches.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bagan choke against Kuwait SC

Mohun Bagan today met Kuwait SC for the AFC Cup 2009 tie at the Howrah stadium and Bagan are yet to collect a single at the end of three matches with a goal difference -2.
Unlike the other three matches, for Karim preferred to rest his key players, todays match Karim considered to be an important match for keeping the hopes alive for advancing to the next round. But today Bagan's performance without the least shadow of doubt was below par. May be the tight schedule brought by the incompetent AIFF is taking its toll on everybody.
Barreto, Marcos, Ishfaq and Sangram were either sick or had just recovered from their ailments yet they all played today to earn the valuable three points, which never came.
The match started with both teams trying to gauge each others' strengths and weaknesses. The first half was mainly confined to the middle of the field with both teams trying to control the match. An easy chance did come Bagan's way when due a defensive lapse, Bhaichung's marker fell behind and Bhaichung who was one on one with the advancing Kuwaiti goalie, some how kept his balance and fired wide of the goal. Barreto seemed off colour today and the Kuwait SC showed no mercy, flying in with hard challenges.
However, the match took a wild turn when Marcos flew in with a fair sliding tackle and won the ball cleanly off a Kuwaiti player. The referee signalled for Play On, but the other Kuwaiti players rushed towards Marcos and started pushing and shoving. Marcos retaliated and suddenly the entire Kuwait SC team staff entered the field. The referee took control of the situation and issued a yellow card for both Marcos and his Kuwaiti counterpart. The first half ended goalless.
The second half began with Bagan trying to squeeze something out but from a free kick, in the 68th minute, Kuwait scored.
After conceding the goal, Bagan did try to comeback but the efforts seemed to inadequate. However, it must be said, Kuwait SC were a good defensive lot today. They successfully foiled any attacks built by Bagan through the centre of the field, and its pretty obvious Bagan is lacking quality side backs. Dipak Mondal is playing the role of a left back, when it is apparent that he cannot over lap and even if he does, he cannot send in quality centres!
Malsaumtulunga, who came in place of James Singh in the 2nd half was totally inactive down the left flank. Bagan were chocked themselves to death for the remainder of the match.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mystery fever grips Bagan!

A mystery fever is giving Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencharifa a frown. Three of his first team players — Jose Ramirez Barreto, Ishfaq Ahmed and Marcos Perreira — are down with fever and doctors have failed to diagnose the cause.
It started with Marcos earlier this week and seemed to have passed on to Barreto and Ishfaq. The two Brazilians played with high fever against Vasco in the I-League match on Thursday and are running against time to be fit for Tuesday’s AFC Cup home match against Kuwait SC.
Ishfaq complained of a sore throat just before the kick-off on Thursday, but decided to start. But the fever seems to have taken a toll and may skip Saturday’s practice session to recuperate.
“They are too weak to play right now. But we are hoping all three of them will be fit before the Tuesday’s tie,” a Bagan source said.
It might be recalled that the Bagan camp was affected by conjunctivitis before I-League’s first-leg match against East Bengal.
The red-and-gold brigade did create a ruckus and asked the match commissioner to bar players from playing with that contagious disease. The matter was later amicably settled. Bagan’s goalkeeper Shilton Paul, in fact, was seen constantly wiping his eyes and was quoted as saying that he could not see Syed Rahim Nabi slipping in to score the equaliser. Paul was later substituted
Source: The Telegraph

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bagan thrash Vasco to keep the heat on Churchill!

Bagan with just three games left for the I League, Bagan needed to win all three to keep Churchill under pressure and today Karim Benchariffa, though had some early jitters convincingly pushed Vasco aside thumping 3 goals.
Bagan seemed to play into Vasco and let Vasco take the initiative at the beginning. Vasco came up with a few attacks and once lofted a ball over the Bagan custodian to strike the post. That came as a rude awakening call and from then on, Bagan put on the pressure. Mohun Bagan utilised the right flank to its fullest and Barreto playing along with Lukaram James sent in a few quality balls. The first chance for Bagan came when, from a Marcos centre, Manju headed a ball goalwards, but the Vasco goalie showed good reflex to keep the ball out.
Within minutes, from the right, Barreto played a perfect ball for Ishfaq, who had the keeper at his mercy, but the Kashmiri could not head it in.
Finally, the goal came and through Ishfaq it was. Same clever little ball ball played in by Barreto to Ishfaq, who just headed in the ball.
Bagan went into the half with that one goal.
In the second half again, Bagan was allowing Vasco settle, but that's when Barreto-Bhaichung magic blinded the Vasco defense. Bhaichung played a beautiful controlled through ball on the top of the penalty box, which was met precisely by Barreto, running diagonally and then after completely wrong footing the keeper, thumped in the 2nd goal.
10 minutes from regulation time, Manju scored his second goal of the I League, when he met a centre by Marcos at the far post. Manju came out of no where to stroke the ball in and himself collided with the post and fell. However, he stood up after some attention and played the match through.
Bagan are now on 40 points.
Team: Sangram, Odafe, Manju, Dipak, Habibur, James, Masih(Lalkamal), Marcos, Ishfaq, Barreto(Branco), Bhaichung

Saturday, March 28, 2009

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Bagan let go of a golden opportunity!

Bagan needed to win their last 4 matches to keep the heat on Churchill Brothers for the League title. For Bagan in order to win the League, Churchill would have to loose a point from their remaining two matches, two rather easy matches against Air India and Mohd. Sporting, two teams languishing at the bottom half of the League table.
Today Mohun Bagan met JCT in Ludhiana for the 19th match and it Karim knew it would be no a walk in the park as JCT are a good side, and this season since they didnot have a good outing, the slightest possibility of them being relegated has sparked off some brilliant performances of late. At home, JCT would be a stiff competitor as they had defeated Sporting Clube de Goa last weak 2-0. Churchill Bros. also had their 21st match today against Air India in Mumbai.
Bagan started on an attacking note, making their intention clear that they have come for three points and their efforts were paid off. As early as in the 8th minute of the match, Manju stabbed in a free ball in front of the JCT goal which was sent in from a corner.
Bagan it seemed had done their job and became a bit complacent and JCT stepped on the gas and came up with a few positive moves and Bagan was lucky not to conceded from on such occasions, when the ball came off the Bagan post. Manju, however, came up with a goal line clearance at the closing stages of the 1st half.

Bagan had their share of chances too but Ishfaq and Bhaichung were way ward with their attempts, otherwise Bagan could have doubled their lead.
The second half saw Jct's Edu take the field and it was clear from Sukhwinder that JCT had no intentions of letting Bagan go away with three points.
It was action packed game with end to end action ensuring enough chances for both the teams to score but both teams lacked finishing. Edu missed a couple of chances and so did Bhaichung and Barreto.
However, in the 78th minute, JCT equalised through an own goal by Rahul Kumar, who otherwise had a good game on the right back position with good overlapping runs and sending in precise centres.
Karim did bring on Branco, 10 minutes from regulation time, but to no avail.

It seems of late, the team is suffering from conceding late goals. The team is becoming too complacent after the one goal lead and that is showing in their game and allowing the opposition to get on top of them.

Bagan however did not surrender to the fate and tried to squeeze the winner and in the injury time, Barreto's header struck the bar.
However, Bagan has been given another chance by Churchill. Technically, had Churchill won their match today against Air India, Bagan practically would not have had any chances for the League title. But Churchill today after taking the lead in the injury time of the first half, conceded a 90th minute goal to share points with Air India and to keep Bagan hopes alive. Bagan has to shrug off their complacent attitude and move on with their remaining games and win the remaining three matches and hope that Churchill give them an early Christmas gift in their last match.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Karim extends his contract as Bagan coach!

His first year as a coach in Kolkata, that too of the National club of India, Mohun Bagan AC, has been nothing short of excellent and hence Karim Bencharifa was offered another year to remain as the head coach of Mohun Bagan. Karim, however, pleased with the club's atmosphere, his cordial relation with the club official and happy with the love and affection he received from the Bagan fans, have decided to oblige and accepted the offer. Today, before he flew off to Ludhiana with his team to play JCT away from home, Karim Bencharifa signed a fresh contract with Mohun Bagan for another year, according to sources in the media.

However, Bagan officials are hopping that retaining Karim as the coach might help them recruit some quality players for the next season, as till now, Karim has been a successful coach in the Indian domestic circuit and players have high regard for the Moroccan coach.

Though according to sources, Karim have had a number of offers from both Indian and foreign clubs, Karim has stuck with Bagan and even the officials preferred Karim because of his so far successful stretch at Bagan and also because he has been able to maintain a healthy relationship with the Officials and also with the players, in times of crisis and in times of joy!

We wish Karim Bencharifa a successful 2009-10 season at Mohun Bagan!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bagan edge past Chirag to keep title hopes afloat

Mohun Bagan having five more matches to end their I League campaign are faced with the task of winning all the five matches just to be in the contention for the title, but still, to win the I League they have to pray that Churchill SC who are heading the table with just two matches left, do something really silly and may be give Bagan a sneak at the League title.
Bagan today were faced with the Chirag challenge and overcame Subrata Bhattacharya's boys, but United SC boys did not go down with out a fight.
From the minute the game started, Chirag were clear with their intention of not conceding a goal with eleven Chirag players defending in their own half, giving Barreto and Bhaichung no place to move. Bagan were compelled to play with the aerial ball but to no avail. Barreto and Bhaichung seemed ineffective upfront and the forest of legs inside the Chirag penalty box made life miserable for the Bagan forwards. Chirag did come out with some counter-attacks but Dipak and Manju were up to the task.
However, at the stroke of the half time, the inevitable happened. Chirag'splan of crowding the penalty box failed themselves as from a corner, Bhaichung headed a ball goal wards, and Chirag defender Arnab managed to put out his leg and push the ball in the back of his own net. Bagan went into the lemon break being a goal in front.
The second half had no surprises as Bagan kept trying to penetrate the Chirag wall, but failed and Chirag kept building their attacks by trying to catch Bagan on the break. Midway into the second half, Tulunga was virtually ineffective on the right flank, and was he was in urgent need of substitution, but Karim waited on on his options. Mohunraj kept chipping in with his blunders and giving Chirag chances to equalise, but Dipak and Sangram were upto the task. However, in the 75th minute, Chirag equalised through Snehahish, who was let in by Habibur and his left footer beat the diving Sangram.
Barely five minutes from regulation time, Bagan earned a free kick on the right flank. Marcos sent in a beautiful in swinging ball, which was met precisely by Bhaichung and sent in.
Again in the dying moments, from a ball from the right, Bhaichung headed in another goal, but was disallowed due to an apparent foul, which was never committed.

Team: Sangram, Habibur, Dipak, Manju, Mohanraj, Tulunga, Masih, Marcos, Ishfaq, Barreto, Baichung

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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