Off goes the full-time whistle and Mohun Bagan takes home all three points. After going into the interval with a two-goal deficit, Chennai City came back in fine fashion and struck two stunning second-half goals but it wasn't enough as Bagan rode on Papa Babacar Diawara's brace to earn a 3-2 win.
The win further consolidates Mohun Bagan's position on the top of the I-League 2019-20 table as it has 23 points from 10 games, while Chennai City remains on the ninth spot.
90+4' Miranda shoooooots...but it is a routine save for Sankar Roy. That should be the last play of the game.
90+2' That looked like a really promising move as Sriram combined well with Jockson, but a bad pass sees Chennai City lose possession. Time's running out for the home side!
90' The fourth official has signalled for four minutes of added time. Enough time for one more goal?
90' Diawara nearly completes his hat-trick as he connects well with Betia's cross, but the header doesn't find the target.
88' What a waste of a chance! Ashutosh wins the ball on the counter and releases Britto on goal. The Bagan forward has all the time in the world to pick his spot and beat the 'keeper but fails to do so and it's another chance wasted for Mohun Bagan. Chennai City still holding on here!
84' Just over! Britto's cross takes a deflection and lands kindly for Diawara, but the striker's first-time shot loops just above the crossbar.
83' Lovely move from Vijay on the right. He wins the ball on the flank and throws in a couple of stepovers to beat his marker, but his cross is well-defended.
81' There's a renewed sense of purpose in Chennai City's game here. The home side is throwing men forward in search of that much-needed equaliser.
78' Final substitution of the game - Shilton DSilva comes on for Naorem.
76' We're down to the last quarter of this exciting clash. Can Chennai City pull off a miracle and pick up points, or will Mohun Bagan hold on to further extend its lead at th top of the I-League 2019-20 table?
75' Last change for Chennai City - Syed Suhail Pasha comes on for Charles. Another tactical move from Akbar Nawas?
74' Charles Lourdusamy goes into the ref's book for a tackle on Betia.
73' Phenomenal stuff from Santana. He leaps to his right to parry away Betia's curling free-kick and keeps his side in the game.
72' What a costly miss from Suhair! He has just the 'keeper to beat, but he loses his footing and the chances goes begging. That will be Suhair's last contribution as he's replaced by Britto.
69' JISHNUUUUUUUU, WHAT A GOAL THAT IS! Much like Vijay, Jishnu receives the ball in midfield and his piledriver strike, from some 40 yards out, takes a deflection and floats into the net. It's 3-2 to Bagan now and the game is well ans truly on.
65' GOAL TO CHENNAI CITY! Vijay, who came on less than five minutes ago, unleashes a belter of a strike to make it 3-1. It's a great piece of skill as he makes room for himself and lets one rip from distance and busts the net. There was nothing Sankar Roy, the Bagan 'keeper, could have done to stop that.
63' It's going to be interesting to see how Chennai City plans its attacks now, given that its two main attack options - Yusa and Muzangu - are back on the bench.
61' Mohun Bagan also makes a change as Tursunov is replaced by local lad Alexander Romario Jesuraj.
60' Another strange substitution from the Chennai City gaffer here - he takes off Muzangu, who looked really impressive, for Vijay N.
58' Fifth booking of the game - Ashutosh Mehta is shown a yellow card for a late challenge on a Chennai City defender.
55' We're 10 minutes into the second half and Bagan has continued from where it left off. Francisco and Diawara continue to be at their lethal best, with the Chennai City defenders struggling to contain them.
54' A surprising move from Chennai City here - Katsumi Yusa has been taken off for Jockson Dhas.
53' Decent move from the home side. Miranda makes a run down the right and takes two defenders with him before squaring it for Charles. The latter shoots first time, but can't it on target.
49' DIAWARA MAKES IT 3-0! Naorem does all the hard work as he latches on to Francisco's through ball and does all the hard work to beat a defender and rounds the 'keeper before teeing it for Diawara. The Senegalese striker has little to do as he coolly slots it home to score his second goal of the evening and triple Mohun Bagan's advantage.
46' KICK OFF
Mohun Bagan holds a 2-0 lead over Chennai City FC at the end of the first half. Goals from Diawara and Francisco saw the visiting side storm ahead, while Chennai did well to try and effect a comeback but has been let down by its finishing so far. However, the likes of Muzangu and Yusa have done well and will be eager to find the back of the net in the second half.
45+1' Muzanguuuuuu...oh how close was that! He wins the ball down the right and lets one rip, but manages to only find the side netting. Another chance goes begging for the home side, and Muzangu is clearly angry at himself for missing the target.
45' Two more yellow cards here - Suhair and Santana engage in a verbal duel and the ref books them both. One minute of added time to be played.
43' Denied by the crossbar! Miranda's free-kick from the left has everyone bamboozled as he goes for goal, but his strike rattles the crossbar. Yusa has a golden opportunity off the next play as he's released down the centre, but his strike zooms wide of the post. Chennai City ought to capitalise on these chances!
38' Oooooh, how close was that? Komron Tursunov's shot drifts inches past the post. Chennai City looking in all sorts of trouble now, struggling to contain the Bagan attack.
34' Suhair has a fine chance to further extend Bagan's lead, but he can't beat the 'keeper. He went for goal, which turned out to be the rather selfish option as he had Diawara, completely unmarked, waiting to his left.
30' What a turnaround this has been. It's the set-pieces that have worked for Bagan as two goals from two corners in as many minutes have given the visiting side a comfortable 2-0 lead. Chennai City will have to come up with something special to make a comeback here.
29' TWO-NIL TO BAGAN! It's almost a replay of the first goal as Betia floats in another teasing cross from the right and this time Francisco Martinez heads it home. It's two goals in a many minutes and Mohun Bagan are well in command of this game.
28' Diawara puts Bagan ahead but his celebration after the goal was quite unnecessary. He celebrates right in front of Chennai City skipper Eslava and a mini scuffle ensues.
27' GOAAAAAAAL! Diwara rises above his marker to head in Betia's cross and it's advantage Mohun Bagan!
24' There's been some sort of an altercation between Diawara and Eslava and both have been awarded yellow cards. The referee tried to talk them down but neither player seemed responsive and the ref had no choice but to card both of them.
22' Chennai City has a bit of a disadvantage here as Muzangu has been asked to go and change his undershorts! Muzangu was wearing black undershorts, as opposed to Chennai City's orange, and has been sent to touchline to change.
20' What a chance for Charles! Yusa crafts a peach of a cross towards Charles Lourdusamy at the far post and the Chennai City man fires a powerful header but it floats just wide of the post. The chance comes a minute after Jishnu tested the Bagan 'keeper with a shot from distance.
18' Like the commentator rightly points out, neither side has created a chance from open play so far. Bagan's best chances came off corners, while Chennai's only chance also came from a corner kick.
15' The first quarter of play has been all Mohun Bagan. The visiting side has piled the pressure on the Chennai defence and has created three fine chances. Chennai City has managed to hold on, but will need to create chances of its own.
11' Saved on the goal-line! Yusa's corner finds Miranda in the box and the Spaniard has an attempt on goal, but VP Suhair does well to block it on the goal-line. First real chance of the game for the home side.
9' Nauzet Santana makes a fantastic save to deny Fransico! It's a fine block as the Chennai City 'keeper dives to his left to keep out Fransico's strike. Good pressure here from Mohun Bagan.
7' Chance! Betia curls in a corner from the right and Fransico gets a fine header, but it whizzes past the post.
4' Terrific footwork from Chennai City's new signing Muzangu. The 19-year-old Swiss, on loan from FC Basel, skips past two defenders and releases a low cross, but the 'keeper does well to cut him off.
3' It's long throw-in from Dhanachandra and Diawara gets a header off, but fails to trouble the 'keeper.
2' Mohun Bagan wins an early corner kick and Betia takes it, but it is headed away by the Chennai defence for a throw-in.
1' KICK OFF!
6:50pm: Here an interesting stat ahead of the game - Mohun Bagan has scored the most goals this season (17), and has also conceded the least goals (7).
6:40pm: While Chennai City is languishing on the ninth spot in the I-League 2019-20 table, coach Akbar Nawas feels his team isn't facing a lot of pressure going into today's game: “We are going to play against a team that will have to win if it needs to stay at the top. They are the favourites and so there’s not going to be much pressure on us.” A bit of reverse psychology here from the gaffer?
6:30pm: Form guide: Chennai City has one managed one win in its last five matches, while Mohun Bagan has secured four wins in five games, including a 3-0 humbling of Neroca FC last week.
6:25pm: The line-ups are out! Here's how the two sides start this evening -
Chennai City: Santanta, Roberto Eslava, Mashoor Shereef Thangalakath, Adolfo Miranda Araujo, Katsumi Yusa, Charles Lourdusamy, Ajith Kumar, Sriram, Pradison Mariyadasan, Jishnu Balakrishnan, Jan Muzangu
Mohun Bagan: Sankar Roy, Fransisco Martinez, Ashutosh Mehta, Komron Tursunov, Papa Diawara, Joseba Betia, Nongdamba Naorem, Suhair VP, Dhanachandra Singh, Sahil SK, Javier Gonzalez
6:15pm: So Bagan and Chennai City have faced off on eight occasions, but it's all square between the two. The two sides have each won two matches, while two games have ended in a draw. Will one edge past the other today? All answers in 45 minutes from now!
Match preview - Mohun Bagan test for struggling Chennai City
Defending champion Chennai City FC will have to dish out something extra special if it has to get past a mighty Mohun Bagan in the I-League clash scheduled to kick off at the Nehru Stadium here on Friday.
The Mariners are in top form this season, having won six out of the nine matches they have played so far. Interestingly, the team has also scored the most number of goals (17) while conceding only seven. Chennai City, on the other hand, has won just two and is precariously placed (ninth) on the points table.
Obviously, everybody expects it to be a cakewalk for the the visiting side.
“We are going to play against a team that will have to win if it needs to stay at the top. They are the favourites and so there’s not going to be much pressure on us,” Akbar Nawas, Chennai City’s head coach, said.
“Mohun Bagan is a complete team and is good in both defence and attack. It has got a good coach and works very hard. It has also got a good bench. It is now up to us to go out there and open the title race by winning it,” he added.
He said the match will serve as the best platform for his players to prove a point. “We should step up and show what we can do. I have told my boys to enjoy the game, but play to win.”
The defeat at the hands of East Bengal last week must have hurt the team much. “We were unlucky. If only we had the chances we would have won the game. When I went through the video clippings it was clear we did well. We had so much positives in the game and, videos don’t lie,” he said.
After the game, the team did some analysing too. “We looked into every single detail in that match. I did some pep talk as well with the players and tried to motivate them. We need to work on a lot many thing but I have belief in my players, the Club and in what we do. Maybe it is just taking some time,” said Akbar.
“Also, whenever there is a defeat you can only go up,” he quickly added.
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