I-League: Mohun Bagan beats Churchill Brothers 3-0 - Highlights

Tune in for for live commentary and updates from the I-League clash between Churchill Brothers and table-topper Mohun Bagan.

Mohun Bagan

Mohun Bagan comes into the tie on the back of a thumping 6-2 win over Neroca.   -  Twitter @ILeagueOfficial

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's live blog of this evening's I-League encounter between Chruchill Brothers and table-topper Mohun Bagan. Shyam Vasudevan will give you all the updates as the action unfurls at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa.

 

And that is that, Mohun Bagan claims a dominating 3-0 win over Churchill Brothers and has expanded its lead at the top of the I-League 2019-20 table to 11 points. Bagan's tally now reads 32 points from 13 games, while Churchill remains third with 19 points from 12 games.

Here's the full I-League points table - I-League 2019-20: Points table, goals scored, goals difference

90+3' Komron has another chance to make it 4-0 for Bagan, but his close range effort is well-saved by Patil. Corner to Bagan.

90+2' Komron has a chance to add to his tally as he is played in on goal, but his first touch lets him down. We're moments away from the full-time whistle!

90' We will have three minutes of added time.

85' We're down to the last five minutes of regulation time and the script remains the same. Churchill will go on to rue the host of chances it missed in the first half.

80' Bagan seems hungry for more. Kibu Vicuna's men have a comfortable three-goal advantage, but appear far from done.

79' Third and final change for Mohun Bagan: Subha Ghosh replaces VP Suhair. Meanwhile, Churchill's Lalkhawpuimawia is taken off for Israil Gurung.

76' How did Diawara miss that!?!? Fran's header forces Patil to make a low save and the rebound falls kindly for Diawara, who is less than three yards from the goal. He tries to tap it in but only manages to find the post. Diawara should have had at least three goals to his name by now!

75' What a chance for Diawara! A poor back-pass from Ponif Vaz had the 'keeper wrong-footed and offers Diawara a clear shot at goal. The Bagan forward shoots, but Vaz makes amends for the earlier error by throwing himself on the goal-line to block Diawara's shot.

72' Second change for Bagan - Naorem is replaced by Alexander Romario Jesuraj.

70' We're down to the last 20 minutes and Mohun Bagan looks well-poised to walk away with the win and further extend its lead at the top of the I-League table. The visiting side has piled on the attacks and the Churchill defence looks pretty worn out at this point.

65' Another change for Churchill - Kalif Alhassan has come on Quan Gomes. 

64' Diawara!!!!! Oh wait.... he's ruled offside. Beitia finds him in the box with a phenomenal through ball and Diawara beats the 'keeper with ease, but the linesman rules him offisde.

62' Substitution for Churchill: Dawda Ceesay has been replaced by Vinil Poojary.

58' THREE-ZERO TO BAGAN and that certainly has to be the game! Komron Tursunov, who came on at the start of the second half for Daniel Cyrus, converts a fine cross from the left to make it 3-0. That's two goals in eight minutes for Mohun Bagan!

55' Churchill has a lot of work to do here now. The side will have to convert its chances and cannot afford to misfire like it did in the first half. Bagan, now, firmly with the upper hand.

50' SUHAIR DOUBLES MOHUN BAGAN'S LEAD! Much like the first half, Bagan strikes early in the second half too as Suhair's pile-driver busts the net to double Bagan's lead. The defence seemed to be rather lax and Suhair simply made the most of it.

 

46' KICK OFF

Referee CR Sri Krishna blows the whistle and it's 1-0 to Mohun Bagan at the end of the first 45. Diawara gave Bagan the early lead when he struck in the sixth minute, but Churchill gathered well to solidify its defence. The home side had plenty of chances, with a majority falling to Willis Plaza, but struggled to convert them. A pulsating 45 minutes await us!

 

45' The fourth official has signalled for three minutes to be added. Enough time for Churchill to find a late equaliser?

41' Oh dear, this doesn't look good. Diawara lunges in with an outstretched foot and his boot strikes Churchill goalkeeper Sukhadev Patil on the face! Update: Turns out it wasn't as bad as it looked. Patil's doing just fine and is back on his feet.

38' That was nearly 2-0 to Bagan! Diwara works his way down the right and and plays a low cross toward Suhair on the far post, but the latter just can't get there on time. First chance for Bagan in a long long time.

34' Plaza once again! Lalkhawpuimawia lays it up beautifully for the Trinidadian striker, but his strike is well-saved by Sankar Roy. Churchill is creating chances aplenty, but has struggled to beat Sankar so far.

32' Plazaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.....just wide of the post! He's played in on goal courtesy of a neat through ball, but his strike drifts agonisingly wide of the far post. Another great attacking move from the home side!

29' The Red Machines are at it again! Ceesay crafts a looping cross from the right and Sankar Roy makes a fantastic leaping save to parry it out for a corner. That's two corners in three minutes for the home side.

25' Sankar Roy living dangerously here! He comes off his line once again and misreads the play altogether, with Lalkhawpuimawia lurking in the box. The Churchill attacker can't get a touch and Naorem launches a Bagan counter-attack. He shows terrific skill and grit to run past three defenders and set up Diawara, but the latter was in an offside position.

20' Churchill was undone by the early goal but has slowly clawed its way back into this tie. The side seems to have finally got into a rhythm and the likes of Plaza and Ceesay have created chances up front. We've got an interesting contest on our hands for sure!

15' Another fine chance for the home side. Quan takes the side's first corner and floats it toward the far post looking for Plaza. Bagan 'keeper Sankar comes off his line and completely misses the ball, allowing Plaza a free header, but his attempt fails to find the target.

12' Ceesay releases Plaza down the centre with a neat lob, but an alert Sankar Roy races off his line to clear the danger. Churchill starting to show signs of life here..

8' It's been all Bagan so far. Churchill has struggled to deal with the visiting side's surging pace and has shown little attacking intent thus far. No shot yet for the home side.

6' GOAAAAAAAAAAL! BAGAN TAKES THE LEAD! Beitia fires in a long free-kick and Fran squares it with a fine header on the far post. The teasing delivery is duly met with a fine finish from Papa Diawara and Bagan storms ahead to an early lead. This brings up Diawara's seventh goal of the I-League season.

 

3' Corner to Bagan, but the set-piece isn't converted. The Churchill defence combines well to thwart the danger.

2' First shot of the game and it comes off Suhair's boot. The Bagan attacker receives the ball in the attacking third and has a go at goal, but it whizzes past the target.

1' KICK-OFF!

Here's how the two teams will line up today -

Churchill Brothers: Sukhadev Patil (GK), Ponif Vaz, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Jovel Martins, Quan Gomes, Dawda Cessay, Lamgoulen Hangshing, Glan Martins, Socrates Pedro, Willis Plaza (C), Lalkhawpuimawia.

Mohun Bagan: Sankar Roy (GK), Fransisco Morante, Gurjinder Kumar (C), Ashutosh Mehta, Papa Diawara, Joseba Beitia, Nongdamba Naorem, VP Suhair, SK Sahil, Daniel Cyrus, Fran Gonzalez.  

This evening's I-League clash promises to be super exciting owing to one key fact - Mohun Bagan has had a remarkable season, but the only club it has lost to this season is Churchill Brothers. Can the Green and Maroons claim a win this time around?

Here's the match preview:

Bagan's winning streak under threat, visits Churchill

In a way, it could be termed as a grudge match for table-topper Mohun Bagan as it takes on Churchill Brothers at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao on Saturday.

The visitor from Kolkata has been on a roll this I-League season, notching up nine wins from 12 games to comfortably lead the points table with 29 points, eight-points clear of second-placed Punjab FC.

However, its only loss came at the hands of Churchill. The Red Machines out-gunned the Green and Maroons in a high-scoring encounter back in December in the early stages of the league at the Kalyani Stadium.

The visiting gaffer Kibu Vicuna understandably tried to play down the talk of any unfinished business ahead of the game saying, “It is only a football match. We will face the game with the same desire as other games. We know that Churchill are a good team with very good players and playing in their stadium is going to be a tough challenge for us.”

That desire has translated to five wins on the trot in recent times with an enviable five-man attack line of former La Liga and Senegalese striker Papa Diawara, VP Suhair, dynamic youngster Nongdamba Naorem, Tajik playmaker Komron Tursunov and Spanish midfield general Joseba Beitia, firing on all cylinders.

Vicuna, who was adjudged to be the Manager of the Month in January, seemed to be enjoying his team’s winning combination.

“Yes, the team, management, fans love it (winning). The players are also enjoying their performance and that’s important. Every game is equally important for us. Our performance against Neroca has given us more confidence and boys are focused to get another positive result tomorrow.”

The leadership and scoring prowess of yet another Spaniard Fran Gonzalez, who has a league-leading nine goals under his belt so far, will surely give Churchill’s Portuguese coach Bernardo Tavarez a sleepless night before his men face the leader on Sunday.

Speaking ahead of the game, he said, ”It’s been a good run for us. The two wins against Aizawl and Real Kashmir have given us a lot of confidence, which we will take forward to our next game against Mohun Bagan. They are the league leaders for a reason, so it’s going to be a tough challenge for us.”

The Red Machines will also take heart from the fact that they have not been too much behind Bagan in the goal-scoring charts.

On being referred to the fact, Tavares brushed it aside completely, “We know that they are now a stronger team than the one we defeated because they have strengthened in some positions.”

They’re currently placed second in the scoring charts with 21 goals with many a scorer finding the target time and again to churn out crucial results during the ongoing league.

The wiry Trinidadian leader, Willis Plaza, has not been as prolific as last year but still has seven to his name and has scored on crucial occasions. This year he has also received more than enough support from the likes of Lalkhawpuimawia (4), Radanfa Abu Bakr (3), Robert Primus (2) and Vinil Pujary (2) among others.

The Portuguese gaffer ratified the same, “We have played well up front, we’ve created several goalscoring opportunities in every game and that makes me confident.”

He further added, “In some games, we’ve made some mistakes in defensive transition and the defensive process, especially in the last few minutes of matches, which has cost us points in some games. We know that if we improve those defensive aspects and improve our attacking effectiveness, it will be easier to win our next games.”

While a win for the Mariners will give them an 11-point lead at the top, an opposite result will see the Red Machines leapfrog Punjab to the second spot, closing the gap with Mohun Bagan to seven points.