Vasco (Goa), March 3: Heavyweights Mohun Bagan kept their slim chances of winning the I-League alive with a vital 2-1 victory over relegation-threatened Churchill Brothers at the Tilak Maidan here on Saturday. Goals from Nikhil Kadam (54th minute) and Akram Moghrabi (76th) blunted Osagie Monday’s (74th) strike to secure all three points for the Kolkata heavyweights.
I-League: Mohun Bagan beat Churchill to keep title hopes alive
The result saw Mohun Bagan provisiolly pip arch-rivals East Bengal (29 points from 16 matches) to the third position with 30 points from 17 games.
However, Mohun Bagan chances of winning the title will depend on whether East Bengal, second placed Neroca FC (31 points from 17 games) and league leaders Minerva Punjab FC (32 points from 17 games) slip up in their remaining matches. As for Churchill, they will have to win their fil game against Minerva to stave off relegation. They are in the ninth place now with seventeen points and trail Cheni City FC by two points.
Going into the game, Churchill were forced into a change as the injured Wayne Vaz was replaced by P.M. Britto. Mohun Bagan had two changes from their match against Indian Arrows at the same venue. Gurjinder Kumar who had impressed in that game was given a start in place of Ricky Lallawmawma and skipper Kinshuk Debth was restored into the heart of the defence with Ra Gharami taken off. With the result of the game having a major of bearing on both teams, it was Mohun Bagan who had the first sight of goal. Moghrabi tried a cheeky back-heel which didn’t come off in the 10th minute. Churchill had the bulk of possession and domited the half but Mohun Bagan held on as first-half ended 0-0. Churchill domited the visitors in the first half with repeated attacks down the left and the pace of their forwards causing all sorts of problems for the Mohun Bagan defenders.
The hosts breached the Mohun Bagan defence once in the first half but the referee disallowed the goal because of a foul by Frincis on Kingshuk Debth. All the action was reserved for the second half. At the onset of the second half, Churchill Brothers continued from where they left. They laid siege to the Bagan defence; however, Bagan hit them on the counter and scored in the 54th minute. Dipanda Dicka was picked out on the right channel with a ball from the middle. Osagia Monday tried to close him down while Eldor Hussein was caught out of position.(IANS)