I-League: Bagan beats Shivajians 3-1, climbs to second

Mohun Bagan returned to winning ways after two barren draws, downing visitor DSVK Shivajians 3-1 at home here at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium on Saturday.

Mohun Bagan has bagged 21 points from nine matches so far.   -  V. Ganesan

Mohun Bagan returned to winning ways after two barren draws, downing visitors DSK Shivajians 3-1 here on Saturday. The hosts were in arrears after Shivajians went ahead midway through the first half through Milan Singh. However, Balwant Singh struck twice in two minutes to give Bagan the lead in the opening session.

Katsumi Yusa scored a late penalty in the second half to make it 3-1, helping it join East Bengal (21 points) at the top of the standings.

Shivajians, which held Bagan to a goalless draw in their earlier encounter in January, started quickly off the blocks. It almost scored in the 21st minute, but Bagan custodian Debjit Majumdar charged out to thwart an attempt from midfielder Juan Quero.

Shivajians continued to dominate the exchanges with regular attacks and found the target three minutes after the half-hour mark when Quero got the better of Bagan defender Eduardo and set up Milan with a low cross. The Manipuri midfielder outsprinted his marker E. Anas to find the net with a deft tap.

Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen made a couple of changes, introducing Katsumi Yusa and Prabir Das on the wings, in an effort to spark his side into action. The ploy seemed to work as Balwant restored parity in the 42nd minute, cashing in on a poor clearance by Shivajians goalkeeper Subrata Paul who failed to control a Pritam Kotal cross. Two minutes later, Balwant met another Kotal cross with a side volley to put Bagan in the lead before the break.

Yusa made it 3-1 from the spot after Bagan earned a penalty when substitute Jeje Lalpekhlua was brought down inside the Shivajians box by defender Gourmangi Singh.

While Bagan took its tally to 21 points from nine matches, Shivajians remained on 10 from as many games.

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