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I-League 2018/19: Mohun Bagan dent Churchill Brothers' Title Hopes, draw 1-1 - What exactly happened

With this draw, Churchill Brothers fall further behind in the four-way title-race (Image Courtesy: AIFF)
With this draw, Churchill Brothers fall further behind in the four-way title-race (Image Courtesy: AIFF)

Third-placed Churchill Brothers were held 1-1 by Mohun Bagan in the I-League in Tilak Maidan, Goa on Saturday.

Dipanda Dicka opened the scoring in the first half followed by a goal-keeping error by the Churchill Brothers custodian Vignesh.

Churchill Brothers restored parity in the second half from the spot through substitute striker Anthony Wolfe after Kingsley conceded the penalty.

With this draw, Churchill Brothers fall further behind in the four-way title-race while Khalid Jamil's side seeks a late-season redemption.

A compact and tactical defensive display from Mohun Bagan followed by a complacent Churchill Brothers attack are some of the number of reasons for the loss of points for the Red Machines.

We look at the Top three reasons or key talking points to how Peter Gigiu's Men were taken to their tasks by the Kolkata Giants:


#3 Resolute Mohun Bagan defence

Kingsley was rock-solid at the back
Kingsley was rock-solid at the back

The Mohun Bagan back-four comprising of Eze Kingsley, Gurtej Singh, Bikramjtit Singh and Amey Ranawade put up a valiant defensive show to completely cut-off the supply balls from the Churchill Brothers midfield towards the Red Machines target-men Dawda Ceesay and Willis Plaza.

Cavin Lobo and Khalid Aucho struggled to make complete passes throughout the 90 minutes courtesy the resilient and defensive display from the Mohun Bagan defence.

Amey Ranawade was replaced by Arijit Bagui after 20 minutes which allowed Bagan to go offensive on the flanks turning the Bagan side in more of a 3-5-2 formation.

With just three defenders at the back, the Kolkata Giants were at risk of allowing ample amount of space to Plaza and co. upfront, but Khalid Jamil's men pulled it off for the most part of the game.

Kingsley was brilliant in his defensive headers in thwarting the aerial danger away minus the penalty he conceded later in the second half.

Jamil is known to be defensive in his approach and he has certainly fabricated a defensive mindset in the Mariners.

#2 Incompetent Churchill Brothers attacking Line-Up

Willis Plaza was not up to the mark
Willis Plaza was not up to the mark

For a team which comprises of the likes of Willis Plaza (Top Scorer of the I-League so far), Dawda Ceesay and Anthony Wolfe (2006 FIFA World Cupper), Churchill Brothers did have a disappointing outing against the Mariners.

Plaza and Ceesay were inconsistent with their touches upfront and were spotted caught in sorting out their feet while going for goals on a number of occasions. Lack of communication between the two marksmen was evident as well.

Peter Gigiu cut slack in his midfield and brought on another striker in Anthony Wolfe in the second half replacing Chesterpaul Lyngdoh making it 4-3-3 to counter Bagan's defensive prowess.

It did show glimpses of urgency and elegance upfront but the final shot was missing. Churchill Brothers did get a goal back through a spot-kick but that was all to show from the Goan strike-front for the rest of the game.

Perhaps, the administration needs more enforcements upfront to cater to Churchill Brothers' fading title hopes.

#1 Omar and Mehtab Hossain dictate the Midfield

Omar Nebil (R) created chances as well back-tracked to clear the balls.
Omar Nebil (R) created chances as well back-tracked to clear the balls.

Adding on to the defensive prowess of Mohun Bagan, the Bagan midfield also supplemented to the draw. The game was largely a cagey affair with the battle being mostly in the middle of the park.

With superior ball possession and more passes made in their own halves as well as inside the Churchill halves, Bagan were certainly superior in Midfield courtesy the Egyptian Maestro Omar Elhussieny and experienced campaigner Mehtab Hossain.

Abhinash Ruidas and Sony Norde were down the flanks to keep the midfield intact and get the balls in the danger zone but it was the two central midfielders who dictated the central area by large.

Mehtab Hossain played a makeshift central defensive midfielder to cut-off the supply from the likes of Cavin Lobo and Khalid Aucho towards Plaza and co.

Omar played a forward role in creating chances which he did but the strikers Dipanda Dicka and Henry Kisekka failed to finish most of them barring one.

Mehtab Hossain certainly is not the fittest player in the Mariners Line-Up but he is certainly tactical and can do his job along with Omar. Khalid Jamil may have just found a compact midfield duo late in the season.

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Edited by Alan John
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