I-League: Mohun Bagan moves to third with win over Churchill Brothers

The defeat condemned Churchill Brothers to ninth position trailing Chennai City (19) by two points, which has finished its campaign.

Mohun Bagan players celebrating against Churchill Brothers.   -  Twitter @IleagueOfficial

Mohun Bagan stays in hunt for the title as it scored a hard fought 2-1 win over Churchill Brothers in a penultimate round match of the I-League at Vasco on Saturday.

After a barren first half, Bagan scored through Nikhil Kadam (54th minute) and Akram Moghrabi (76th). Churchill Brothers pulled one back through Osagie Moday in the 74th minute in the match played at Tilak Maidan.

Mohun Bagan now move to third place with 30 points and plays its last match against Gokulam Kerala on March 6 in Kozhikode.

Churchill Brothers, meanwhile, remained on ninth place with 17 points. It plays Minerva Punjab on March 8 in Panchkula in its last match.

Mohun Bagan made two changes from its side that beat Indian Arrows, bringing in Kinshuk Debnath and Gurjinder Kumar in place of Ricky Lallawmawma and Rana Gharami.

Churchill made one change from its drawn match against Gokulam Kerala, bringing in Britto PM in place of injured Wayne Vaz.

Both the side’s played a cautious game initially which saw play confined to midfield for most part of the first half. Mohun Bagan tried to make inroads into the Churchill goal but its moves fizzled out as it found defender Monday a tough nut to crack.

Churchill had two clear chances but Jeancy Zunapio Siyo was guilty on both the occasions. First, he first headed over the bar off a cross from Britto and in the dying minute of the first half, he directed the ball wide off the mark off a Frincis pass.

Churchill thought it had taken the lead in the 33rd minute when defender Osagie Monday headed the ball into the net off a Gurung cross from the left. But referee Om Prakash Thakur disallowed the goal as Onyeama Frincis pushed defender Kingsley Obumneme as Monday went up for the header.

Mohun Bagan broke the deadlock after the break in the 54th minute. Aser Pierrick Dipanda Dicka, who missed a clear chance after the break, played a square pass to Nikhil Kadam who unleashed a left-footer that found the far corner of the net.

The visiting side preferred to defend its citadel after taking the lead while Churchill went all out to find the equaliser.

Unable to find the equaliser, Churchill coach Alfred Fernandes tried to push defender Osagie Monday up, replacing Pawan Kumar for Jeancy Siyo, who played in the defence.

The move paid off as Churchill found the equaliser in the 74th when substitute Nicholas Fernandes sent a measured cross into the box for unmarked Monday ,who tapped in the ball into net.

However, Churchill’s joy was short lived as Mohun Bagan once again took the lead two minutes later. Substitute S. K. Faiaz sent a high cross into the box for Akram Moghrabi to find the target to give Mohun Bagan full points and keep itself in the hunt for the title.

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