I-League: Inspiring Arrows holds lacklustre Bagan to draw

Against the hard-working youngsters, who focused on man-to-man marking and swift clearance, Bagan, playing without an effervescent Sony Norde, struggled to find its rhythm.

The home team was booed by the Bagan supporters, who applauded Arrows’ brave effort.   -  HERO I-LEAGUE

Mohun Bagan managed a 1-1 draw against a 10-man Indian Arrows to dent its I-League title hopes here on Friday. In the first match at its club ground, Bagan took one point from its uninspiring performance to be at third with 10 points. Arrows has seven off six.

Against the hard-working youngsters, who focused on man-to-man marking and swift clearance, Bagan, playing without an effervescent Sony Norde, struggled to find its rhythm.

Poor finishing troubled Bagan too. Ansumana Kromah could not utilise Abhishek Das’ cross from the right in the 18th minute. The Liberian failed to find the target off a Dipanda Dicka pass and Shilton D’Silva could not connect to a free-kick in quick succession.

Bagan was lucky to win a penalty and Dicka, whose first shot into the net was disallowed, beat ‘keeper M. Dheeraj Singh to put the host ahead in the 27th minute.

Six minutes later, Arrows scored the equaliser. Rahim Ali took the ball to the left, racing past Kinshuk Debnath to relay it on to Rahul Balan inside the box and complete the formalities.

An anxious Bagan tried hard to get back the lead and supplied long balls, but the rookies fought valiantly and earned some bookings in the process. Arrows’ captain Amarjit Kiyam, who received two yellows in the space of 15 minutes, had to leave due to the eventual red card in the 66th minute.

Arrows had more trouble in store as Asish Rai was hit in the face by a Manandeep Singh kick and was stretchered off in the 75th minute.

Manandeep, Nikhil Kadam, Kromah and Dicka created several chances but could not breach the Arrows defence, which was headed by the efficient Dheeraj under the bar.

The home team was booed by the Bagan supporters, who applauded Arrows’ brave effort.

The result: Mohun Bagan 1 (Dicka 27) drew with Indian Arrows (Rahul Balan 33).