Mohun Bagan produced a clinical attacking display that secured a 6-2 home win over NEROCA FC, with Papa Diawara, Francisco Morante and Romario Jesuraj adding to Francisco Gonzalez's hat-trick. Philip Adjah and Subash Singh scored the goals for NEROCA FC, which suffered its seventh defeat of the campaign.
That brings us to the end of a goal-laden I-League match but there's more football coming up, with Odisha FC facing NorthEast United FC in the ISL. Here's the LIVE BLOG for that match.
Full-time: Mohun Bagan 6-2 NEROCA FC! A hat-trick from Francisco Gonzalez and goals from Papa Diawara, Francisco Morante and Romario Jesuraj secure a 6-2 win for Mohun Bagan over NEROCA FC, with Philip Adjah and Subash Singh scoring for the visitor.
We are into three minutes of stoppage time
89' OHH! Papa Diawara misses a gilt-edged chance from barely six yards out. Doesn't get the connection he was looking for with his right instep and the ball rolls away narrowly past the far post.
Before kick-off, the two sets of players paid homage to the 40 Martyrs of the Pulwama attack.
80' Subash Singh races onto a throughball and tries to play a low cross from the left, but Francisco Morante times his tackle to perfection and it's only a goal kick.
74' A period of lull since Mohun Bagan scored its sixth goal. NEROCA FC seeing plenty of the ball but largely due to Bagan sitting off and allowing it some free possession.
70' GOAL, 6-2! Romario Jesuraj is subbed on in place of Nongdamba Naorem and with his first touch, hits a sweet volley that nestles in the bottom corner. That's the third corner that Mohun Bagan has scored from tonight.
66' SAVED! Sankar Roy, in the Mohun Bagan goal, flies acrobatically to his right and gets two strong hands behind the ball to deny Taryk Sampson, who volleyed it sweetly from the edge of the area.
62' RED CARD and PENALTY MISSED! Mohun Bagan captain Dhanachandra Singh is shown a red card for handling a goal-bound ball. The resulting penalty is taken by Philip Adjah, who tries to side-foot it into the corner but mis-hits it and it rolls wide of the post. A great chance to reduce the deficit and Adjah didn't seem confident taking it. His run-up, straight from behind the ball rather than diagonally, impeded his intended attempt of bending it inside the right post.
58' SAVED! Papa Diawara gets on the end of a throughball and strikes first time, his effort is straight at Marvin Phillip, who makes a comfortable save.
54' SAVED! Nondamba finds Komron Tursunov with a throughball. NEROCA's high defensive line leaves itself vulnerable to the counter-attack and Tursunov gets himself into a good position to shoot. His effort at the near-post is palmed away by Marvin Phillip.
51' Nongdamba manages to get past Dhananjoy Singh and, from a tight angle, tries to last the ball past Marvin Phillip at his near-post. The effort is a little wild and it's off target.
48' A crunching tackle from Ashutosh Mehta as Philip Adjah races down the left. It's a two-footed challenge, winning the ball cleanly and putting it out for a throw-in.
46' OFFSIDE! V.P. Suhair plays a low cross to Papa Diawara, who's strayed a fraction offside. The chance came after Ashutosh Mehta won a free-kick and took it quickly as Subash Singh remonstrated with the official.
46' Referee blows his whistle for the start of the second half. Mohun Bagan gets it underway, playing from left to right.
NEROCA FC players have been sent out early and they are geeing themselves up in a huddle, trying to overturn a three-goal deficit.
Half-time: PEEP, PEEP, PEEP! And breathe! We have had seven goals in just over 45 minutes of football, a majority of them due to poor defending but Mohun Bagan fans won't be complaining.
45+2' GOAL, 5-2! Subash Singh finds the corner with a side-footed effort to reduce the deficit! Pritam Singh gets to the byline and picks out Subash with a perfectly-weighted ball, which is hit first time, giving Sankar Roy little chance of saving.
45' GOAL, 5-1! Francisco Gonzalez completes his hat-trick getting on the end of a loose ball and lashing it home. Poor goalkeeping from Marvin Phillip, but Gonzalez is at the right place at the right time once again. That's his ninth goal of the I-League season!
37' GOAL, 4-0! A simple give-and-go between Papa Diawara and V.P. Suhair, and the moves ends in Diawara volleying it home as Marvin Phillip rushed off his line but to no avail. The move comes from a throw-in that Diawara plays to Suhair before making his run into the area. Suhair is allowed time and space to pick a pass, and Diawara does the rest.
32' Komron Tursunov gets on the end of a cross and volleys it first time, doesn't get the dip he was looking for and slices it over the crossbar. NEROCA FC has struggled to deal with the crosses from either flank so far and each of Mohun Bagan's three goals have come from crosses into the area.
26' PENALTY SAVED! Francisco Gonzalez wins the penalty following the slightest of contact in the box. He then takes the responsibility to dispatch it from the spot. He tries to place it to Marvin Phillip's right, doesn't get enough power and it's not in the corner. Phillip goes the right way, gets two hands behind the ball and saves his team from going down 4-0.
24' GOAL! Francisco Gonzalez sneaks in at the back-post and powers a low header past Marvin Phillip. Joseba Beitia swings in a teasing cross and Gonzalez had positioned himself perfectly to head home his second of the match. Mohun Bagan 3-0 up!
19' OFFSIDE! Pritam Singh plays a neat pass onto the feet of Adjah inside the area, but the Ghana forward had strayed a fraction offside. A rare attacking foray for NEROCA with Pritam getting a chance to run at the Mohun Bagan defence and he made the right decision to pass to Adjah. He did get his shot away that was saved by Sankar Roy.
16' OHHH! Dhanachandra Singh slides onto a cross from the right, gets his foot to the ball but can't get his shot on target. A let-off for NEROCA.
12' GOAL, 2-0! Francisco Morante heads in Komron Tursunov's attempted volley and places it in the corner. Mohun Bagan not just bossing it but producing the end-products as the NEROCA FC defence is found wanting with defending set-pieces.
11' GOAL! Francisco Gonzalez puts Mohun Bagan with a thumping header. Gonzalez attacked the corner at the front-post and connects powerfully, leaving Marvin Phillip in the NEROCA goal flat-footed.
9' CHANCE for Mohun Bagan! Dhanachandra Singh swings in an inviting cross for V. P. Suhair at the front post, he doesn't get his head over the ball and his effort is wide. Chances coming thick and fast for the home side.
6' SAVED! Marvin Phillip denies Komron Tursunov, who hits a sweet volley, trying to beat the NEROCA FC goalkeeper at his near-post. Phillip tips it over the crossbar and the resulting corner is cleared away. Mohun Bagan is starting to get a foothold in the match.
5' First attacking foray from Mohun Bagan. Komron Tursunov and Ashutosh Mehta combine on the right flank. Mehta plays a low cross but it's close to goalkeeper and NEROCA FC goalkeeper Marvin Phillip makes a regulation collection.
2' An ambitious effort from NEROCA FC's Subash Singh, who tries to volley it from a tight angle. Blazes it well over. A good spell of possession from the away side, little pressure on the ball from Mohun Bagan in the early moments
Kick-off: Neroca FC gets the match underway, playing from left to right.
The players make their way out to the middle. The customary pre-match handshake is done. The captains pass on the final words in a huddle, and we are good to go.
Team news: Mohun Bagan manager Kibu Vicuna has named an unchanged starting line-up from the win over Punjab FC. A couple of changes for the visiting NEROCA FC: Boubacar Diarra and Yumkhaibam Singh drop out; Zodlingliana and Varun Thokchom handed starts.
Mohun Bagan: Sankar Roy (GK), Francisco Martinez, Ashutosh Mehta, Komron Tursunov, Papa Diawara, Joseba, Nongdamba Naorem, Suhair Vadakkepeedika, Dhanachandra Singh, S.K. Sahil, Francisco Munoz ( Substitutes: Gurjinder Kumar, Alexander Jesuraj, Lalramchullova, Debjit Majumder, Shilton D'Silva, P.M. Britto, Subha Ghosh)
NEROCA FC: Marvin Phillip (GK), Taryk Sampson, Moirangthem Dhananjay Singh, Zodingliana, Varun Thokchom, Imran Khan, Ningthoujam Singh, Singham Singh, Moirangthem Govin Singh, Busai Attila, Philip Adjah ( Substitutes: Ngangom Singh, Loitongbam Singh, Rojen Wahengbam, Yumkhaibam Singh, Siam Hanghal, Chanso Horam, Boubacar Diarra)
Mohun Bagan could go 11 points clear with a win against 10th-placed Neroca. It's on a nine-match unbeaten run having last been beaten by Churchill Brothers in December. It takes on a Neroca side that has lost six of its 12 matches so far this season, keeping it second from bottom.
Bagan has a chance to do the double on NEROCA having won at the Khuman Lampak Main Stadium earlier this season.
Former champion Mohun Bagan will be looking to consolidate its lead in the I-League standings when it hosts NEROCA FC at the Kalyani Stadium on Friday. Remaining unbeaten in the last nine matches, Mohun Bagan coach Kibu Vicuna will be hoping his side wraps up the fifth-straight win to go 11 points clear of currently second placed Punjab FC.
Mohun Bagan enjoys a good home record winning four of the five matches it has played at Kalyani, it present home. Barring the loss (2-4) against Churchill Brothers in the first outing, Mohun Bagan has won the next four engagements.
Vicuna said that the last win (1-0) against a strong side like Punjab FC should better the confident of his side when it meets NEROCA, which is currently 10th in the table. “The match against Punjab was not easy and we were rewarded for being more consistent. We should look to preserve our game against our next opponent and get a favourable result,” Vicuna said.
On the other hand NEROCA has remained quite inconsistent losing three of its previous five matches. This included losing 0-3 against Mohun Bagan. After three consecutive loses Neroca, coached by Gift Raikhan, made some recovery beating local rival Trau FC 5-0. But it slipped again playing a goalless draw against Indian Arrows at home in the last outing.
“Football is all about fighting and every match is a new challenge. It is true that we lost against Mohun Bagan at our home but we will try our best to reverse the result here,” Raikhan said.
Mohun Bagan vs NEROCA will kick off at 5 PM IST and will be telecast on 1Sports . It can also be streamed live on the Fancode app and website.