Bagan today came out to play against Al Widhat in their second AFC match and Bagan were no doubt impressive. From the beginning of the match it did not seem that the Indian team was cowed down by any pressure. In fact, with only Bhaichung Bhutia upfront, Bagan played much offensive and Bhaichung did take in a few shots but missed the target. Some quality flank play was exhibited by James and Ishfaq with their penetrative runs, but lacked the finishing. Rahul Kumar on the right flank matched well with James and together they sent in a few quality balls. And as early as in the 13th minute, Bhaichung, from one such balls, took the defense away with him and laid off a ball for Masih and the young mariner, took a shot in his stride that beat the keeper and tangled into the net. Bagan went 1-0 ahead, quite deserving.
However, it was clearly visible that Bhutia was lacking support upfront. His forward runs evading Al widhat defenders were laid to waste as both Lalkamal and Ishfaq were unable to read Bhaichung's moves.Going one goal down, the Jordan team stepped on the gas and started playing some good ground football and after stringing together a few passes, sent in a centre at the second post, from where an AL Widhat player headed in a free header. AL Widhat equalised barely 5 mins after Masih scored.
Bagan still kept up the tempo tried to score a second, but quite against the run of play almost at the end of the 1st half, Al Widhat doubled their lead. The Al Widhat player took a shot on the turn and beat a diving Sangram.
The half ended 1-2 in favour of Al Widhat.
The second half started and Bagan still tried to get that equaliser. Karim put in Marcos in place of Lalkamal and Mama in place of James at the beginning of the second half and Mama with his short stature dodged into the Al Widhat penalty box in more one occasion and really kept the right wing active.
AL Widhat attacked in in intervals, but Sangram was good under the bar saving two well struck free kicks.
Near the end of the match, from a free kick, Rakesh Masih headed a ball goal wards, but unfortunately, hit the post and went wide.
Branco was introduced in place of Lalram and playing after a long injury, Branco was looking bright.
In the second half, Al Widhat pursued time wasting strategies and snatched an important away 3points from India.
Team: Sangram, Odafe, Dipak, Mohunraj, Rahul, Lalkamal(Marcos), Masih, James(Mama), Ishfaq, Laram(Branco), Bhaichung