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Durand Cup 2019: 3 reasons why Mohun Bagan defeated Indian Navy

Avik Roy
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
18 Aug 2019, 09:10 IST

Mohun Bagan will face Real Kashmir in the semi-final of Durand Cup (Image Courtesy: durandcup.in)
Mohun Bagan will face Real Kashmir in the semi-final of Durand Cup (Image Courtesy: durandcup.in)

Mohun Bagan made it three out of three in the group stages of the Durand Cup when they defeated Indian Navy by 1-0 at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday.

Spanish midfielder Francisco Gonzalez scored the only goal of the match from the penalty spot in the 58th minute of the match.

Mohun Bagan coach Kibu Vicuna made wholesale changes in the team and kept only one foreigner in the team. He even tried out some new names like Subha Ghosh and Deep Saha, who both impressed on their first outings.

The Green and Maroons will now have a couple of days in hand before they face Real Kashmir in the semi-finals of this prestigious tournament on August 21 at 7.30 PM.

Let us discuss the reasons why Mohun Bagan won the match:


#3 Indian players come out good for Mohun Bagan

Mohun Bagan had already qualified for the semi-finals. Before they took the field against the Indian Navy, they even knew who their opponents would be.

So this was largely an inconsequential match for the Green and Maroons. They looked at this like any other warm-up match.

Keeping his words, Bagan coach Kibu Vicuna placed just one foreigner in his first XI, keeping Fran Morante, Joseba Beitia and Salva Chamorro on the bench. Fran Gonzalez, who scored a stunner in their last match, was the only foreign player.

For the first time this season, it was an all-Indian defence for Mohun Bagan. So, the job for Dhanachandra Singh and co. was not easy. Yet, they managed to keep out a clean sheet.

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But the most impactful Indian on the field was Sk Faiaz. He was deployed in the usual right-wing position but Faiaz constantly pushed himself up from his position to help VP Suhair, who was the striker. Some good runs and crosses came from his feet and kept the opposition on their toes every time.

Subha Ghosh, who got his first chance under Vicuna, could’ve etched his name on the score-sheet twice. But on both occasions, he missed easy chances. It was surely a great experience for the youngster who needs more time to gel.


#2 Silly mistakes from Navy players made the job easier

Indian Navy put up a spirited fight against ATK in their opening match before going down to 0-6 against Mohammedan Sporting in their next. Knowing that they had no chance to qualify, one thought it would be a cakewalk for Mohun Bagan.

These claims were proved to be wrong. With no foreigners in their line-up, the Navy men matched their counterparts in every aspect and kept the pressure till the last minute of the match.

Had they not missed some easy chances in front of the goalmouth, Indian Navy could easily come out with at least a point. In the middle of all their action was Britto PM, the former Green and Maroon player.

He used the wings superbly, toyed with Arijit Bagui couple of times and delivered perfect crosses. Yet, the goal never came in. Britto himself could’ve scored twice, but on both occasions, he failed to use his experience and squandered the chances.


#1 Gonzalez remains the leader in the midfield

With all his fellow countrymen on the bench, the onus was on Francisco Gonzalez to take the responsibility. In the 58th minute, his cool and calm finish from the penalty spot earned his team all the three points.

But that wasn’t his only contribution in the match. Through the 90 minutes, Gonzalez ran from one end to the other and tried to create chances for his teammates. At the same time, he maintained the defensive shape of the team well.

He is a man with a good working ability. So, taking extra pressure was not a burden for him. Indian Navy forced many counter-attacks. Either Gonzalez blocked them or made his teammates alert about the potential danger.

His experience also helped the team very much. He constantly gave instructions to the players like a true leader and deservingly came out with the man of the match award. 

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