Bagan Skipper, Duffy On Target To Hand Bengaluru 3-0 Defeat
A Katsumi Yusa brace (14′, 52′) and a Darryl Duffy header (25′) gave Mohun Bagan a 3-0 win over Bengaluru FC at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, in Kolkata, on Saturday. The defeat meant the Blues stayed on fifth position with 18 points.
With an eye on an important AFC Cup fixture against Maziya S&RC in Maldives on April 4, Albert Roca left skipper Sunil Chhetri on the bench as Malsawmzuala made his first start of the season, with ’keeper Amrinder Singh returning to the starting eleven following his injury layoff. Udanta Singh and CK Vineeth partnered Daniel Lalhlimpuia in attack as Alwyn George was preferred over Lenny Rodrigues in midfield.
The game kicked off to an even start but Bagan stepped up soon after with Sony Norde leaving Sandesh Jhingan behind down the left flank only to see his cross saved by Amrinder. Katsumi Yusa had the first chance for the Mariners, but the referee flagged for offside after the Bagan winger had put the ball in the back of the net.
Yusa though made no mistake moments later, with a shot that had a bit too much on it for Amrinder, who could only watch as it trickled beneath his dive and rolled past the goal-line. Chasing the equalizer, the Blues kept possession in midfield but it wasn’t to be as a set piece from Bagan saw Sony Norde swing one in for striker Darryl Duffy to direct into the far corner with a glancing header.
Bereft of ideas in the first half, the Blues got the second off to a better start, pushing Bagan behind and earning quick corners. But a swift counter saw Bagan race to a 3-0 lead when Norde took off on a swift run down the middle of the pitch before setting up Yusa who deftly placed his take beyond Amrinder. Roca rang in a double change in the 63rd minute, replacing Vineeth and Udanta with Marjan Jugovic and Mandar Rao Dessai.
Bengaluru came close to finding the back of the net in the 65th minute only to be denied by the post. Jugovic’s shot took a deflection and Mandar met the looping ball with header only to see it Debjit palm it on to the post. Daniel had a shot from distance late in the game but it wasn’t enough to ruffle any feathers in the Bagan defence.
Bengaluru travel to the Maldives from Kolkata on Sunday.