Bagan plays 1-1 draw with Yangon, on verge of knockout spot

A win would have secured a knockout round spot for Mohun Bagan but with 10 points from four matches, it remains on top in Group G.

Trinidadian striker Glen Cornell scored the equalising goal in the 41st minute after Brazilian forward Adilson Dos Santos had put Yangon in front in the 25th minute at the Youth Training Centre.   -  AP (file photo)

Mohun Bagan played out a 1-1 draw against Yangon United in its away match to put itself on the verge of booking a historic knockout berth in the AFC Cup football tournament here on Wednesday.

Trinidadian striker Glen Cornell scored the equalising goal in the 41st minute after Brazilian forward Adilson Dos Santos had put Yangon in front in the 25th minute at the Youth Training Centre. Read: >Bagan players safe in eqrthquake-hit Myanmar

Myanmar National League champion Yangon United thus ended Mohun Bagan’s AFC Cup winning streak of three games, including the side’s 3-2 victory over the same opponent in the first leg match in Guwahati last month.

Nonetheless, it was a creditable show for Sanjoy Sen’s boys to come out unscathed in an away match, more so after four winless matches in the I-League which saw its chances of retaining the title fade away.

Top of the group

A win would have secured a knockout round spot for Mohun Bagan but with 10 points from four matches, it remains on top in Group G. It needs a win from its two remaining group matches — against Maziya and Recreation of Maldives in Male on April 27 and against South China of Hong Kong in Guwahati on May 11. Yangon is on five points from four matches.

While Mohun Bagan had the lion’s share of possession in the opening period of the game, it was the host which took the lead midway through the first half.

After superb interplay with teammate Kyaw Ko Ko just inside the box, 29-year-old striker Adilson steered home a left-footed effort past the diving Arnab Sharma in the Mohun Bagan goal.

Despite falling behind, Mohun Bagan forwards Glen and Subash Singh made life difficult for the Yangon defence and an equaliser four minutes before half-time came courtesy of the former as the Trinidadian latched onto an incisive through ball from Lenny Rodrigues to tap home the ball beyond Yangon keeper Luiz Fernando.

Missed chances

After the restart, it was Yangon which upped the tempo and forced the visitor to defend deep into its own half as the game’s momentum swung their way.

And the pressure almost paid off immediately as Mohun Bagan defender Raju Gaikwad went close to scoring an own-goal, before Kyaw Ko Ko let two chances to retake the lead slip in quick succession as he was twice denied by the resolute Arnab.

In the 86th minute, though, the away side did have a glorious chance to snatch all three points at the death as Luciano Sobrosa ventured forward to get on the end of captain Katsumi Yusa’s cross into the box, but his effort sailed over the bar.

Despite the chances at either end in the second half, neither side could break the deadlock.