Mohun Bagan Super Giant found Sreenidi Deccan a hard nut to crack before managing a 2-1 win in a Group A match of the Kalinga Super Cup at the Kalinga Stadium on January 9, 2024, Tuesday.
Sreenidi Deccan drew the first blood after William Oliveira converted from the spot in the 28th minute. However, its joy was shortlived as Jason Cummings found the equaliser in the 39th minute, and Armando Sadiku scored the winner in the 71st minute to help the Kolkata giants take home three points.
It was a brisk start to the match, with the maroon and green brigade dominating the proceedings initially and showing their intent right from the start.
However, the I-League outfit gradually grew into the game and found its footing, with midfielder Lalromawia emerging as the livewire for Sreenidi.
AS IT HAPPENED: Mohun Bagan Super Giant vs Sreenidi Deccan highlights
Shortly before the 30-minute mark, Mohun Bagan’s Sumit Rathi made a crucial mistake, bringing down Lalromawia inside the box. Oliviera walked up to take the resultant spot-kick and he made no mistake to find the net to hand his side a well-earned lead in the 28th minute.
The Mariners upped their game after falling behind, and there was definite intent and purpose in their attacks to get back on level terms. They did not have to wait long for the equaliser as Cummings slotted the ball home into an empty net in the 39th minute when Abhishek Suryawanshi’s pile driver fell kindly for the Australian after rattling the crossbar.
Sreenidi maintained its composure after the resumption of play in the second half and looked determined to hold off Bagan’s frequent raids into the box. Hugo Boumous continued to be the orchestrator for Bagan, while Petratos and Armando Sadiku tried to do the damage upfront.
Sustained pressure from Mohun Bagan finally forced Sreenidi to succumb in the 71st minute, with Sadiku putting his team in the lead. Boumous switched play to the right flank to find Asish Rai, and the wing-back’s brilliant trickery helped him get past his marker to drill in a low cross inside the six-yard box. Sadiku was well-placed to get to the end of the ball, and he made no mistake to score from close range.
Once in arrears, Sreenidi upped the ante and put immense pressure on the Mohun Bagan defence. The Kolkata side soon found the burden hard to handle.
In the process, young Suryawanshi committed the mistake of picking up his second yellow card and was given the marching orders in the 86th minute, leaving his team with 10 men in the last few minutes.
Sreenidi tried to make the most of the numerical advantage and did everything to get the equaliser, but it remained elusive till the end.
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