I-League: Dicka rescues point for Bagan against Gokulam

Having suffered a 0-2 loss against traditional rival East Bengal barely three days ago, the draw against Gokulam took Bagan further away from the chance of regaining the title.

Bagan celebrates Shilton D'Silva's opening goal against Gokulam Kerala.   -  AIFF MEDIA

Mohun Bagan’s title aspirations were dealt a blow by Gokulam Kerala when it was held to a 2-2 draw, in an I-League match here at the Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday. Having suffered a 0-2 loss against traditional rival East Bengal barely three days ago, the draw against Gokulam took Bagan further away from the chance of regaining the title.

Shilton D'Silva gave Mohun Bagan the lead in the first quarter of the action scoring in the 18th minute. The home side failed to preserve the lead for long as the visitor struck twice in a span of three minutes to secure a 2-1 lead by the 24th minute.

An own-goal by Bagan defender Lalchhawnkima (21st minute) saw Gokulam restoring parity before Trinidad and Tobago forward Marcus Joseph put the visitor in the lead (24th). Cameroon forward Aser Dipanda Dicka scored at the hour-mark to level the issue for Bagan.

The home team coach Khalid Jamil made three changes to the side that lost against East Bengal. D’Silva, one of the three incoming players, brought in the reward for the host finishing a corner taken by Sony Norde.

Playing an open game, the two sides earned a few scoring opportunities in the first 15 minutes. But the host found the right finish in the 18th minute when Norde curled his corner-kick right at the goalmouth for D’Silva to nod home.

Gokulam got back into the game quickly as Lalchhawnkima miscued an attempted clearance on a Bijesh Balan cross into own goal in the 21st minute. Joseph got at the end of a pass from Suhair V.P. minutes later and chipped over an onrushing Shilton Paul to put Gokulam ahead.

Bagan played with more purpose after the break and with the introduction of the seasoned Mehtab Hossain in central midfield in the 53rd minute it found the goal route more frequently. The host’s persistent efforts paid off in the 60th minute when Henry Kisseka set up Dicka with a lob to find the Gokulam net and the equaliser for Bagan.

The Kozhikode-based side moved to ninth in the points table with the point while Bagan remains sixth behind NEROCA.

The result: Mohun Bagan 2 (Shilton D'Silva 18, Aser Dipanda Dicka 60) drew with Gokulam Kerala FC 2 (Lalchhawnkima 21-og, Marcus Joseph 24)