Bagan bettered their previous 7 continuos I League wins today by making it 8 wins on the trot in the I League with the previous record being 6 wins in a row! Air India was shown the door in their own den, as Bimal Ghosh, after the I League defeat, had warned Bagan about Air India's capabilities in the Cooperage! Barreto flouted any such warning and threw Air India to the wind to retain Bagan in the second spot with 27 points, just one point behind Sporting Clube de Goa, who are on 28 points.
Air India, however, drew first blood in the 20th minute. The Air India forwards combined well in the moment to take advantage of the unsettled Bagan defence and after playing a one-two opened up the Bagan goal. Manju looked totally out of position and without any clue of what task he had been assigned to do. Deepak too, assigned the role of a left back ,could not live up to his task of overlapping and sending in good crosses. Odafe, however, stood tall in the defense and covered up for Manju while Habibur played to the best of his ability.
After the goal, Bagan stepped up and Marcos started to initiate a few movements. He himself took a crack at goal, which forced the Air India goalie to make a good save. But the moment came late in the 1st half, when Barreto, off a flat corner from James, headed in the equaliser for Bagan.
In the second half, Air India, it seemed as if was out to prove a point to Bagan and crowded men in Bagan's half, but in the 69th minute, Ishfaq did well to tussle a ball away from an Air India player and initiate a counter attack. Ishfaq ran from the Bagan's and into the half of Air India and laid the ball off to Barreto to the right. Barreto took himself to an acutely narrow angle and then let off a bullet, which pierced through the first bar and the keeper.
Air India piled on the pressure with bringing in some forwards but Odafe, Deepak and Habibur made sure they saw Bagan through with 3 points!
Next, its a clash of the League contenders, Bagan and Sporting Clube in Kolkata!