I-League: Norde wins it for Mohun Bagan

The home campaign in Hero I-League 2015-16 got off to a bad start for new-comers DSK Shivajians as they lost to Mohun Bagan 2-0 at the Balewadi Sports Complex on Saturday.

DSK Shivajians and Mohun Bagan players fight for the ball   -  I-League Media

The home campaign in Hero I-League 2015-16 got off to a bad start for new-comers DSK Shivajians as they lost to Mohun Bagan 2-0 at the Balewadi Sports Complex on Saturday. Sony Norde grabbed both the goals for his side’s victory over a ten-man DSK Shivajians.

The home side started the match strongly, keeping possession of the football while playing on the front foot. In the 4th minute of the game, Douhou Pierre of the Shivajians drove in a telling ball, but unfortunately, none of the players were there to head the ball home, as it rolled out of play.

Mohun Bagan’s Under-22 midfielder Brandon Fernandes had a chance to find the back of the net, but his shot was well saved by Subrata Paul. However, from the resulting corner, the Mariners managed to draw first blood.

Striker Sunny Norde found himself a bit of room inside the six-yard box and slotted the ball in with ease to give his side a crucial away lead.

Later in the first period, Pronay Halder found himself in the mix of things as he got into bust-ups with two of the Shivajians’ rear guard. With the likes of Jeje and Norde in their squad, Mohun Bagan were happy to play on the break, keeping the defenders on their feet for the majority of the half.

Jeje came close to doubling his side’s advantage in the 43rd minute of the contest, but his header was off target. At half-time, the scoreline read 1-0 in favour of the away side.

Disappointed with his side’s first-half performances, Shivajians coach Derrick Pereira made a substitution at the break, bringing on the pacy Israil Gurung in place of captain Aser Dica.

Much like the first, the home side started the second period strongly, keeping the majority of the ball but failing in their attempts to provide anything fruitful. Strikers Douhou and Mohammed Rafi combined well on a number of occasions, but the Mohun Bagan defence had no trouble in keeping them out.

Sanjoy Sen’s side managed to put their foot into the game in the 55th minute. Sony Norde once again tormented the DSK defence before he cheekily scored a low shot from the edge of the box to double his as well as his team’s tally.

Only moments after conceding their second, Shivajians were given a lifeline with 60 minutes on the board. Mohammed Rafi came ever so close to pulling back a goal for his team, but his header rebounded off the crossbar.

What was to follow was Israil Gurung’s disastrous miss from 4 yards out. The winger was required to place the ball calmly into the back of the net, but he added power and height to a rather easy finish, to fire it yards over the goal.

If being two goals down wasn’t bad enough, the home side were down to ten men. Lalhmangaihsaga Ralte, who was carded earlier, made a needless foul to see himself receive his second booking of the match.

Playing 10 versus 11, the odds were severely stacked against the team in white and red. Shivajians defender Justin Stephen found himself on the wrong end of a sliding tackle and had to be stretchered off the field. As Pereira made all of his substitutes, his side was forced to end their first ever home I-League tie with nine men on the field.

DSK Shivajians play Mumbai FC next while Mohun Bagan travel to China to play in the AFC Champions League Preliminary Round 2 match.

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