Mohun Bagan overcame a fierce competition from Rainbow AC to secure a 3-2 win, their second in as many matches at the ongoing Calcutta Football League. Trailing 0-1 for quite some time, the Mariners came back strongly in the second half to bag points from the tie. Mehtab Hossain, who came as a substitute in the second half and changed the complexion of the game, was lauded for the win by coach Shankarlal Chakraborty.
The first half was a battle between Mohun Bagan’s attack and Rainbow AC’s organised defence line. Star striker Dipanda Dicka was given a run for his money although the hosts could have got the lead in the 6th minute when the opponent's defender almost scored an own.
A 26th-minute header from Kingsley was sent back from the goal line. Then the unexpected happened in the 39th minute with Abhijit Sarkar’s precise free-kick finding the back of the net after a clumsy foul by Kingsley just outside the penalty box.
Mohun Bagan levelled early in the second half with super sub-Mehtab Hossain making the difference. The old warhorse, back in the club after a long time, lofted a pinpoint cross which was headed by Dipanda Dicka in the 48th minute.
A lucky goal from Abhishek Ambekar gave them the lead in the 67th minute after his shot was deflected by Godwin, Rainbow’s defender. Azharuddin made it 3-1 in the 74th minute with his header. Joel Sunday pulled one back for the visitors but it was not enough.
Bagan coach Shankarlal gave full points to veteran Mehtab Hossain, who changed the complexion of the match. During the post-match conference, he said, "Mehtab is a player who can make the best use of the rainy conditions.
"If I would have played him the entire 90 minutes it would have been risky. When the team is in danger, experienced players like Mehtab Hossain are useful, who played in the city for so many years.”
Mohun Bagan will be more than satisfied with the result and it will give them a boost ahead of their next match against George Telegraph on Sunday evening. Meanwhile, East Bengal will be up against Calcutta Customs on Friday.