By Debabrata Majumder
KOLKATA: Mohun Bagan held on to Thangjam Saran Singh’s first half goal to edge past Bhawanipore Club 1-0 in the ongoing CFL Premier Division -A, on Thursday at Mohun Bagan Ground.
With this victory, Mohun Bagan have now moved up to the summit of the CFL with 12 points from 4 games, while Bhawanipore remain 0n ninth with a solitary point from as many games.
Heading into the game, Mohun Bagan coach Sankarlal Chakraborty named an unchanged line-up from the one that beat Southern Samity 1-0 on Sunday. Meanwhile, his counterpart Debjit Ghosh made four changes with Suman Malo, Debayan Saha, Bijendra Rai and Abubakar Al-Hassan coming in for Jony Routh, Satish Singh, Jagannath Sana and Orok Orok Essien.
Both the sides started off brightly, initiating several moves, however it was Mohun Bagan who shot into the early lead in the 7th minute when Azharudin Mallick sent a perfect cross from the right side for Saran who made no mistake to slot the ball home.
Four Minutes later Saran came teasingly close to scoring his brace, however his effort off a Tapan Maity pass missed the target by a whisker.
Bhawanipore also had their chance around midway through the first half, but Manorajan Singh’s header from Tirthankar Sarkar’s free-kick was nicely saved by Mohun Bagan custodian Arnab Das Sarma.
Towards the end of the half, Mohun Bagan came with a few good moves but Bhawanipore managed to hold on defending deep as the first half ended 1-0.
The second half brought the best out of Bhawanipore as they had majority of possession and put a lot of pressure on Mohun Bagan who sat back and looked to counter the attack.
Soon after the break, Bhawanipore introduced Sana in place of Suman to give more thrust in the attack.
The first real chance of the second half fell for Bhawanipore through Bijendra who had a chance at goal in the 51st minute but his shot went wide.
Six minute later, Mohun Bagan had a chance to finish the game but Zohib Islam Amiri, who replaced Robinson Singh to make his club debut, hit the woodwork from a free-kick just outside the box
However, the best chance of the game fell for Bhawanipore in the 79th minute when Lalkamal Bhowmick played a long ball for Sana on the left side but the winger unbelievably failed to slot home after dribbling past the goalkeeper.
From there on, Mohun Bagan focused on their defence at large not to allow the opposition to level things up. With the Mohun Bagan defence standing tall right through the match, Bhawanipore finished yet another closely contested encounter on the losing end.
Mohun Bagan will face Peerless SC next on August 22 at Mohun Bagan Ground while Bhawanipore will take on the same opponent on August 26 at Barasat Stadium.
Photo By Ujjal Sarkhel.