I-League: Chennai City holds Mohun Bagan to a 1-1 draw

Mohun Bagan was denied a eighth-straight win in the I-League after Katsumi Yusa struck a 67th minute equaliser at the Kalyani Stadium.

Katsumi Yusa's industrious efforts were rewarded with a goal against Bagan.   -  RAJEEV BHATT

Defending champion Chennai City FC stopped the winning run of Mohun Bagan by holding the latter to a 1-1 draw in an I-League fixture at the Kalyani Stadium here on Thursday. Senegalese striker Babacar Diawara put the host ahead at the final minute of the first half. Chennai City made a spirited comeback after the break to find the equaliser through its Japanese play-maker Katsumi Yusa.

Chennai City, which had narrowly lost its first leg outing 2-3 against the same side at home in Coimbatore, showed a much improved performance to halt the current leader in its own den. The draw, which came after seven successive wins, proved to be a minor dent in Mohun Bagan’s march to the title.

AS IT HAPPENED

Bagan tallied 36 points from 15 matches and continued to build on its impressive lead, which currently stands at 13 points compared to its nearest challenger, Punjab FC. Punjab remained a distant second with 23 points from 15 outings.

Making its intentions clear from the beginning, Chennai City went for the kill and successfully subdued the host’s attacking plans. The visitor made the most of the toil in the opening session but failed to convert the chances, which came in good numbers. Despite being relegated to defending for a good period in the opening half, it was Bagan which took the lead a minute before the break.

Diawara put the finishing touch on an assist from Nongdamba Naorem, who was set free to create the chance after the Chennai City defender Rohit Mirza failed to clear a long-floater from Francisco Morante from the Bagan half. The visitor could have easily found the lead early in the opening session as Katsumi ran amok in the Bagan defence and opened up three clear chances in the first 30 minutes. But the chances went waste as Spanish striker Adolfo Miranda twice and Jockson Dhas failed to hit the target.

Katsumi was rewarded for his hard work as the visitor continued to press for the goal after the break. In the 67th minute, the Japanese play-maker was set-up with a nice cross by Jockson and the former jabbed home a grounder to bring up the equaliser.

The result

Mohun Bagan 1 (Babacar Diawara 45) drew with Chennai City FC 1 (Katsumi Yusa 67).

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