Mohun Bagan won their last I-league match at home against Chennai 2-1 but disappointingly fell short of the top shot yet again.
Bagan suffered a heartbreak two years in a row as they once again failed to win the league. After a disappointing result against Aizawl in their previous match, the title decider went into the final day of the season. Bagan needed to secure a win and hope that Aizawl would falter in their respective match.
Even though the result in Shillong did not go their way but Sanjay Sen’s men managed to secure a win on their home turf. But the win was anything but easy.
Sanjoy Sen started with Balwant and Duffy upfront as he decided to give Jeje a rest. But it was the midfield that was causing a lot of headaches for Bagan. Their midfield was virtually non-existent during the first periods of the game. There was absolutely no control in the middle of the pitch. And Bagan had to resort to long balls. This is when Sanjoy Sen decided to bring on Souvik Chakraborty and finally they had control of the midfield.
Mohun Bagan had an added bonus when news started filtering into the stadium that Aizawl were trailing 1-0. Bagan immediately upped the tempo of the match but they lacked proper finishing to get the all important goal. Both Duffy and Balwant missed a host of chances to give the visitors a lead. And as luck would have it, the home team fell behind after they conceded a very scrappy goal.
But Mohun Bagan fought resiliently and clawed their way back into the match through their captain Katsumi Yusa just before half time. The fans could finally breathe a bit easy at half time.
In the second half, Bagan kept on piling the pressure on Karanjit’s goal but the Chennai defense stood strong. That is when Sen decided to through Jeje into the mix. And Bagan finally got their lead through Duffy. But it was all too late by then as Aizawl had scored an equalizer in their match.
This was not the end of the action though. There was still some late drama installed in the match. Bagan goalkeeper caught a long ball just on the edge of his penalty area and the linesman flagged it as a handball. It this was a bit debatable then the referee issued a straight red to Debjit and gave him the marching orders. This was a point of heavy debate as the Bagan players looked infuriated with the decision.
Mohun Bagan behaved like true professionals and congratulated Aizawl on their win:
Heartiest Congratulations to @AizawlFC . It's been an extraordinary performance from you. Enjoy your moment!
— Mohun Bagan (@Mohun_BaganAC) April 30, 2017
This is the second year in a row that Mohun Bagan has had a disappointing end to their campaign. But Sen will take out a lot of positives from this match. The work ethics of his captain was top notch and as always Sony Norde was brilliant all throughout the match. But if they want to be anywhere close to the top spot next season then the coach might have to look into his defensive line.