Mohun Bagan spare Salgaocar blushes as match ends in stalemate
A wasteful Mohun Bagan played out a 0-0 draw against Salgaocar FC to salvage a crucial away point from Goa. Mohun Bagan’s Sony Norde and Balwant Singh missed a series of opportunities throughout the match, which cost them three points from this tough away fixture.
Salgaocar missed the services of Darryl Duffy, who has not played a single game in the Hero I-League so far. Derrick Perreira fielded his side in a 4-5-1 formation with Bikash Jairu as the lone striker upfront. Their attacks mostly depended on the brilliance of Douhou Pierre. Sanjay Sen on the other hand kept his starting lineup unchanged from the Mumbai FC game in, which Mohun Bagan thumped three goals.
Salgaocar dominated possession in the first half, but as usual failed to make any impact. Their attacks did not even cross the Mohun Bagan defensive line. Mohun Bagan got their first good opportunity, when Manish Bhargav’s cross found Sony Norde one on one with Subrata Pal. Unfortunately Norde’s shot went wide.
Salgaocar mostly kept the ball around the midfield region and did not create a single opportunity to trouble the Mohun Bagan defense.
Balwant Singh got an opportunity in the beginning of the second half. He dribbled passed one defender brilliantly and entered the opponent’s penalty box. But, his final shot was feeble and did not trouble Subrata Pal. The custodian had to save one more shot just minutes, after Balwant’s attempt. Pritam Kotal ran down the flank and took brilliant shot, which was somehow saved by the Salgaocar custodian.
Just around the 60th minute mark, the away side thought they scored, but the goal was disallowed because of a foul on Pal. Salgaocar defender Gurjinder Kumar cleared a ball unconvincingly and Subrata Paul attempted to get hold of it under pressure from Balwant. Subrata failed to grip it and landed into his own goal, along with the ball. Referee gave the decision in favour of Salgaocar, even though Balwant did not even touch the keeper.
Katsumi Yusa got an opportunity to give his team the lead in the dying moments of the match, but failed to convert from touching distance. Mohun Bagan remained unbeaten in the tournament with four points from two games. Salgaocar is yet to win a match in the Hero I-League.