The ability to recover from setbacks is a hallmark of successful sides, and Mohun Bagan Super Giant (MBSG) epitomised that with a 3-2 victory against Jamshedpur FC at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 tonight.
The Mariners secured their first ISL win after conceding a goal in a match in over nine months, with their last such victory coming against Kerala Blasters FC (also 2-1) last season. Beyond the goals and the scorelines, today was a day that showed the depth of youngsters and the pool of young talent currently in the ISL.
Tactician Scott Cooper tried to bring in the greater goal-scoring potential to his side by handing a starting spot to Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) graduate Mohammed Sanan. The 19-year-old made an immediate impact, netting in the sixth minute to become only the second teenager after Aniket Jadhav to score a goal for Jamshedpur FC in ISL history.
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Playing in the left flank, Sanan pressed and made Hector Yuste lose possession. Subhasish Bose made a hasty attempt to clear the ball, but it landed at Sanan’s feet. The youngster spotted Vishal Kaith advancing off his line and maximised the opportunity by shooting the ball into an empty net amidst celebration from the Jamshedpur FC faithful. Seven minutes later, Sanan again tried his luck at a long-range effort but was not on target this time.
Jamshedpur’s joy was short-lived, as the Mariners demonstrated an attacking move straight out of the training ground to bag the equaliser in the 29th minute. The visitors overloaded the right flank, and attacking midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad pierced the opposition backline with a through-ball that met an onrushing Manvir Singh. The winger squared a pass for Armando Sadiku that the striker tapped past TP Rehenesh to draw the scores level.
The visitors’ winger Liston Colaco took a long-range strike that helped his team get a foot ahead in the proceedings. In the 48th minute, Colaco received the ball on the left wing, and he cut inside and shot on the right side of the net in a move that caught the Jamshedpur backline off guard. Rehenesh barely moved an inch, but Colaco’s goal helped Juan Ferrando and his team regain control over the proceedings.
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Rehenesh was at the centre of another notable moment in the game, charging outside the box and tackling to bring down Sahal in the 68th minute. A red card was imminent, and Jamshedpur went down to 10 men, helping the Mariners optimise the one less player in the outfield. Manvir led another offensive move, this time from the left flank, and laid out an assist for Kiyan Nassiri Giri. The 22-year-old ran into the space between Nikhil Barla and Pratik Chaudhari to lob the ball over substitute goalkeeper Vishal Yadav’s head in the 80th minute.
All was not lost for the home side as a foul by Yuste gave Jamshedpur a spot-kick in the 86th minute. Steve Ambri converted the penalty, but the Mariners held their backline together for the remaining period to return with three points to their name.
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