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I-League 2017: Mohun Bagan 1-0 Churchill Brothers - 5 Talking Points

rohit ganguly
Top 5 / Top 10
1.05K   //    09 Jan 2017, 10:17 IST
Balwant Singh scored the only goal of the game (Image Courtesy: I-League Official)

Mohun Bagan began their I-league 2017 campaign on a victory note after they pipped Churchill Brothers by a solitary goal from Balwant Singh.

After an emphatic display in the first half, the team wilted down to Churchill’s possession style of football. To add to their woes, they had to play with ten men in the final 25 minutes as U-22 sensation Subhasish Bose was given marching orders.

Mohun Bagan ran amok over the Churchill rearguard in the first half. The visitors seemed to be punch-drunk having no clue about what was unfolding on the pitch. Things aggravated for the visitors when Bagan drew first blood via Balwant Singh.

Balwant out-jumped his marker, Keegan and headed home with clinical precision, justifying his pick over Jeje. His last season was plagued by injury and he seemed famished for goals. The defence of Bagan stood tall despite incessant pressure from Churchill in the dying embers of the game.

We will take a look at those five points which changed the complexion of the game.

#1 Tight marking in defensive midfield

Defending a slender lead is always the toughest in football. One mistake can change the complexion of the game at any point and players need to be always on their toes.

Mohun Bagan was able to log full points only because of brilliant marking in midfield. Sehnaj Singh led the charge, and along with Pritam Kotal, Kingshuk Debnath, Subasish Bose and Anas built an impregnable wall in the Mohun Bagan rearguard.

After the goal, Churchill adopted a different style of football and resorted to keeping the possession with themselves. Despite failing to make inroads up front they played several square passes.


The defence of Bagan ensured that Churchill weren’t allowed any fairway in the first half. However, things changed in the second half and Churchill started pressing harder. Bagan’s gung-ho attitude seemed to alleviate in front of Churchill’s passing football.

It seemed as if Bagan was frustrated as they were not able to keep the ball for long and that led to the Mariners committing errors. Had it not been for the defence standing tall, things could have been different.  Anas deserves special mention as he put his burly physique to the fullest use.

Things seemed to be extremely elusive for the home side when Subasish Bose, one of the debutants for Bagan, was given the marching orders after he picked up a second yellow for a rough tackle on Seriton Fernandes in the 64th minute. This red card forced Sanjay Sen to introduce two of the best defenders in his arsenal, Prabir Das and Pronay Halder.

Both of them came out with flying colours to aid the team to log full points.

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