I-League: Mohun Bagan shares spoils with Punjab; NEROCA defeats Real Kashmir

Mohun Bagan played a 1-1 draw with Punjab in Ludhiana on Tuesday, while NEROCA beat Real Kashmir 1-0 at its home ground.

Ashutosh Mehta (left) celebrates Subha Ghosh's (centre) late equaliser, which handed Mohun Bagan the draw.   -  AIFF MEDIA

Mohun Bagan maintained its position at the top of the I-League table with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against host Punjab FC in Ludhiana on Tuesday. Cameroonian striker Dipanda Dicka gave Punjab the lead in the first half before Subha Ghosh snatched a late equaliser to ensure Mohun Bagan shared spoils with Punjab.

Punjab, which had been working well on the set-pieces, went ahead in 19th minute through a corner-kick. From Sanju Pradhan's delivery off the set-piece, Cavin Lobo floated in a cross into the Bagan six-yard box. A lurking Dicka met it with a side-volley, which stunned Sankar Roy in the Bagan goal to give the host an early lead.

Mohun Bagan piled up the pressure after conceding right till the half-time whistle, but the equaliser remained elusive. In the 60th minute, Papa Diawara, Bagan’s Nigerian recruit, found himself in a favourable position but shot wide. Eight minutes later, Spaniard Joseba Beitia shot over the bar from close, while VP Suhair in the 70th minute also shot wide with only the keeper to beat.

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However, super-sub Subha Ghosh changed fortunes for Mohun Bagan late into the game.

A Bagan foray into the Punjab box, dropped harmlessly and favourably for Teah Dennis to clear. Just as the Liberian defender was looking to do so, Subha who had been following play, crept up at pace from behind to snatch it from Dennis. Subha got ahead and unleashed a right-footer along the ground which found its way to find the back of the Punjab net. It was the talented Bagan youngster’s third goal of his debut senior season.

Bagan now has 14 points from seven games while Punjab climbs to the second spot with 11 points.

NEROCA beats Real Kashmir for second win for the season

NEROCA sealed a 1-0 victory over Real Kashmir FC at the Khuman Lumpak Stadium as Boubacar Diarra scored the winner in the 62nd minute.

The host came close to drawing the first blood in the seventh minute when a Siam Hanghal set-piece on the right flank wasn’t dealt with properly inside the box, which allowed Taryk Sampson with a crack on goal on the edge of the six-yard area, but he fired wide.

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Ten minutes later, the visitor had its first attempt on goal when a scramble in the Neroca box led to the ball falling to Gnohere Krizo, who pulled the trigger from point-blank range, but NEROCA was bailed by a stunning save from skipper Marvin Devon Phillip.

In the second half, Neroca broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute when a Pritam Singh cross was replied to with a looping header from Diarra, which left Lachenpa helpless.

The win took NEROCA to the seven spot on the table, while Real Kashmir sits just above bottom-place Indian Arrows.

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