IFA Shield 2018 : Mohun Bagan secure semifinal spot with comfortable win over Bengal Football Academy
Mohun Bagan registered a well deserved 2-0 win over Bengal Football Academy in a rain-drenched IFA Shield encounter in the Barasat Stadium, Kolkata, on Monday.
The young boys in Green and Maroon looked the better side from the kick-off itself. The Mariners were awarded a spot-kick after their winger was fouled inside the box for constantly troubling the BFA defence. Koushik Santra slotted the ball home from the spot with ease and put the Mariners 1-0 ahead.
Mohun Bagan continued their positive playing style by using both the wings in tandem and created several goal scoring chances in the first half, only to have them squandered away by the misfiring strikers in front of the goal.
Bengal Football Academy gradually recovered from the early Mohun Bagan juggernaut and came tantalisingly close to scoring by hitting the post. Bengal Football Academy ended the 1st half on a positive note with explosive and quick counter-attacks. The Bagan shot-stopper also fumbled when trying to catch an incoming floated ball allowing BFA to restore parity but the onrushing BFA striker failed to keep his nerves and blasted it away to end the first half with a 1-0 lead for Mohun Bagan.
The second half was an evenly contested period with both teams trying to find the back of the net. Large periods of the second half were spent playing in the middle of the park with midfield tussles.
Mohun Bagan eventually got the better of the BFA defence once again under an overcast sky through Deep Saha, who made it 2-0 for the Mariners.
BFA pushed for at least a goal in the final moments of the game, but the gritty and resilient Mohun Bagan defence stood tall and thwarted away every danger to safety.
With this win, the Mariners have booked a place in the semifinals of the IFA Shield. The Mariners will face Tata Football Academy on 12th July at the Howrah Stadium which may not be more than just a dead rubber while Bengal Football Academy will cross swords with a depleted Churchill Brothers side on the same day in the Barasat Stadium.
With East Bengal already qualifying from the other group, a semi-final between the two giants look inevitable. Will we witness a rekindled version of the IFA Shield with both the heavyweights clashing for the first time in the U19 Event? Pin down your thoughts on the same.