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.