I-League 2018/19: 3 Reasons why Mohun Bagan won against Minerva Punjab FC
Fresh from the defeat against East Bengal in a five-goal ‘Kolkata Derby’, the onus was on the Mohun Bagan players to deliver in the vital away clash against Minerva Punjab FC in the I-League. Shankarlal Chakraborty's army did exactly what the doctor ordered.
The ‘Mariners’ produced a sensational performance to win 1-0 and snatch away three points against the defending champions in the own den.
Henry Kisekka scored the winner in the 79th minute to seal the deal for Mohun Bagan. The 'green and maroon' brigade has now accumulated 12 points from eight matches and is placed at the seventh position in the points table.
The margin of victory could well have been increased but it was unfortunate that the goal post came in between them on three occasions. Just the like the previous game, a few of the decisions went against them.
A clear handball offence inside the box was overlooked by the referee, with other poor decisions to keep aside.
Here are the three reasons why Mohun Bagan won against Minerva Punjab FC:
#3 Improved display in the defence
Unlike the previous matches, Mohun Bagan’s defence played well, they looked calm and composed in the 90 minutes of play.
Without the services of Eze Kingsley, after he was sent off midway through the Kolkata Derby, Shankarlal summoned Gurjinder Kumar to fill up his shoes.
The stopper was Punjab proved his worth, guarding the Bagan goal with perfection along with fellow defender Kim Kima. Mohun Bagan managed to keep a clean sheet after a one-month span!
The problem lies in the fact that Mohun Bagan depends too much on foreign recruits like Sony Norde and Eze Kingsley. But the fact is that in the absence of these players, others rise up and take up responsibility.
It was exactly what happened in the last thirty minutes of the ‘Kolkata Derby.’ With Sony Norde ruled out and Kingsley showed the red near the hour mark, Mohun Bagan could have easily conceded more.
On the contrary, they played offensive and staged a rather surprising comeback, but eventually lost the match.
Arijit Bagui and Abhishek Ambekar played their part pretty well, the overlapping runs were very effective.
The partnership between Azharuddin/Faiaz and Arijit Bagui was also laudable. The role of Yuta Kinowaki should also be applauded, the Japanese was effective in shutting down Minerva Punjab’s attack in the midfield. William Opoku found it hard to penetrate through the defence.