I-League: Duffy’s brace helps Bagan register successive win

Mohun Bagan, which beat Churchill Brothers 1-0 in its first outing of the season, preserved the winning run, but in a manner that hardly looked convincing.

Darryl Duffy

Darryl Duffy had skipped practice due to fever on the eve of the match.   -  I-League

Darryl Duffy scored a brace to help former champion Mohun Bagan down Shillong Lajong FC 2-0 and secure its second successive win of the Hero I-League at home in Rabindra Sarobar Stadium here on Friday. Duffy, who had skipped practice due to fever on the eve of the match, made a fine return to form scoring once in each half as Bagan netted the full quota of points to move to the top of the League standings.

Bagan, which beat Churchill Brothers 1-0 in its first outing of the season, preserved the winning run, but in a manner that hardly looked convincing. The cohesiveness, that is needed to sustain its aspiration of regaining the title after a season’s break, was clearly missing as a young Shillong Lajong appeared more adept in creating opportunities.

The visitor had long sessions of possession in both the halves but it drew arrears in finishing with its attackers failing to utilise numerous openings in the Bagan box. On the other hand, the host survived on Duffy’s accomplishment in availing the scoring opportunities, the first of which happened in the 21st minute. Duffy made the most of a cross from Kingshuk Debnath, who moved up from defence to find the Scotsman unmarked in the Lajong territory, to take the host ahead in the first half.

Lajong pressed for the equaliser after the change of ends, but the wastefulness of Fabio Pena and Asier Dipanda in the visitor's attack put paid their efforts. Duffy scored the insurance goal for the Mariners in the 77th minute as substitute Pronay Halder set a long pass for Balwant Singh. The latter placed the ball for an onrushing Duffy, who placed the ball home past a stranded Vishal Kaith in the Lajong goal. Bagan tallied six points from successive wins to move to the top while Lajong remained at the bottom with two successive loses.

The result: Mohun Bagan 2 (Darryl Duffy 21, 77) bt Shillong Lajong FC 0.

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