I-League: Mohun Bagan signs off on winning note

Goals from Dipanda Dicka, Sony Norde and Britto sealed a 3-2 win for the Mariners.

Mohun Bagan players celebrate Dipanda Dicka's conversion from the spot to put the visitor in the lead.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Kolkata giant Mohun Bagan snatched a thrilling 3-2 victory over host Shillong Lajong on the penultimate day of the 12th season of I-league here Friday.

The visitor drew first blood with Dipanda Dicka scoring in the fourth minute through a penalty kick. Shillong then restored parity with a penalty through Phrangki Buam (45+1') at the JLN Stadium.

The host then came back strongly in the second half through Buam in the 53rd minute, but an outstanding free-kick in the 78th minute from Sony Norde saw the Mariners level the score.

The Khalid Jamil-coached side struck back again through Britto in the 88th minute to finally seal the game in its favour.

With this win, Mohun Bagan finished its season in fifth place with 29 points.

The Kolkata giant built pressure on Lajong’s defence line from the start and the effects were clear when a miscommunication between defender Aiban and goalkeeper Phurba Lachempa resulted in the latter receiving a yellow card and giving away a spot-kick to Mohun Bagan for a foul on Dicka.

The forward made no mistake in converting the penalty kick giving Mohun Bagan a very crucial lead in the 4th minute.

Shillong, despite the early setback, did not lose hope and kept trying to create chances but struggled to convert them.

Dicka along with Sony Norde made a few attempts but a more alert Lajong Defence ensured the visitor did not extend the lead.

The host made some interesting attempts and nearly scored through Donboklang within regulation time in the first half, but the woodwork denied it.

It did not stop trying and was soon rewarded in the first minute of added time at the end of the first 45 minutes when a soft push from Arijit Bagui on Phrangki Buam inside the box saw the latter earning a penalty for the host.

Read: AIFF non-committal about I-League's future

Buam made no mistake in finding the much-needed equaliser for Shillong Lajong in the 46th minute.

The second half began with the combination of Donbokland, Buam and Mahesh troubling the Bagan defence.

An inch-perfect pass from Donboklang to Pharngki Buam saw the latter make no mistake in beating Shankar Roy to find the back of the net taking a crucial 2-1 lead in the 53rd minute.

Mohun Bagan’s efforts for an equaliser gained pace in the second-last quarter of the second half and Britto’s introduction in the 72nd minute added incision to the combination of Norde and Dicka.

In the 78th minute Norde scored an outstanding equaliser from a free-kick which came as a result of Freestar’s tackle on William just outside the box.

Jamil’s side then made a series of attempts but couldn't be clinical.

Mohun Bagan finally found its way when Britto scored in the 88th minute on a rebound from a good save by Phurba Lachempa from a Dicka attempt, winning the match 3-2.

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