Mohun Bagan bag their first points in the AFC Cup group stage with a win over Abahani Limited Dhaka. The Mariners came from behind to win the match 3-1.
Sanjoy Sen clearly had one eye on this weekend’s derby against East Bengal as he made a host of changes in his lineup. He gave his Scottish striker a much-deserved rest before the derby. As a result, both Balwant Singh and Jeje featured upfront for Mohun Bagan.
Bagan clearly looked a bit rattled in the first few moments of the game. They conceded a string of corners within the first 10 minutes of the match. But Abahani could not take advantage of the situation. The visitors eventually broke the deadlock in the 21st minute of the match courtesy of Jonathan Brown. Brown has an easy tap in inside the box after a squared ball from Md Ziban.
Bagan equalized through Jeje in the dying minutes of the first half after a lay off pass by Norde was put into the net by the Mizo striker. Both teams went into half time with the score leveled at 1-1. But Bagan had clearly had the momentum.
Sanjoy Sen’s men wasted no time in the second half as they went ahead within just 3 minutes from the restart. This time Balwant put his name on the scoresheet with a fine left-footed chip to beat the Abahani goalkeeper. Bagan were clearly in the driver’s seat after the second goal. And it looked as if the 3 points were in the bag.
Sen introduced Prabir Das just after the hour mark. And the Kolkata-born player played some fine football. Norde blasted home Mohun Bagan’s third goal of the night with an amazing solo effort in the 87th minute of the match. He beat three defenders standing in his way to thumb the ball into the back of the net.
Sony Norde was evidently very happy with his goal in the match. He posted an Instagram video to celebrate the moment.
Win the win Bagan open their points tally in the group and are currently placed second with 3 points behind I-League rivals Bengaluru FC. The Mariners’ next encounter with a high profile I-League derby versus local arch rivals East Bengal this weekend.