KOLKATA: Mohun Bagan registered a hard fought 2-1 win over Peerless Sports Club in Calcutta Football League on Monday.
Nikhil Kadam put Mohun Bagan ahead in the 32nd minute only for Leonce Dodoaz to restore parity for Peerless in the 40th minute. However, Bayi Kamo Stephane converted a penalty to settle the issue for Mohun Bagan in the 62nd minute at Mohun Bagan Ground.
Mohun Bagan started in a promising manner as they looked for an early goal but the rival keeper Rajini Kumar came out with some good saves to deny Ansumana Kromah and Chesterpaul Lyngdoh early success.
Peerless, on the other hand, employed slow build-up using short passes but could rarely breach the Mohun Bagan defense, led by Nigerian Eze Kingsley.
Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan probed more often into the rival box but were frustrated by Rajini, who twice prevented Kromah from putting his team ahead. The keeper first made a diving save and later leaped high to tip the ball over the bar from a long-ranger.
However, the best chance for Mohun Bagan came midway in the first half but Kamo, who was unmarked inside the rival box, shot wide of the target after he was fed by Chesterpaul.
Mohun Bagan kept on moving the ball from the flanks and finally broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute when Kadam slotted home from Kamo’s pass.
The goal gave Mohun Bagan a morale boost as they began pushing up in numbers. A few good chances fell for Kamo and Kromah but they lacked the finish inside the rival box.
At the other end, Peerless pulled level five minutes before half-time as Dodoz capitalized on a defensive error to beat Mohun Bagan custodian Shilton Paul after receiving a pass from Francis Oneyama.
Then, both sides had a few chances in closing minutes but couldn’t convert as the scoreline remained one-goal-a-piece going into the breather.
Needing a goal, Mohun Bagan came out all guns blazing in the second half and began attacking from the word go. However, the Peerless defense managed to hold on and clear all the early attacks.
Nonetheless, Mohun Bagan did reclaim their lead when referee Nasiruddin Laskar awarded Mohun Bagan a controversial penalty after substitute Azharuddin Mallick went down from a challenge from Sukhwinder Singh.
The decision sparked wild protests from Peerless players who surrounded the referee, however Peerless’ protests were ignored as referee appeared to have little doubt that Mohun Bagan deserved a penalty. Kamo stepped up to take the penalty and slotted the ball into the left hand corner.
Thereafter, Peerless continued to put pressure on the Mohun Bagan defense looking for the equalizer.The Fuja Tope-coached side even had a few close chances but with the game turning physical, Peerless found it hard to penetrate as the game ended 2-1 for Mohun Bagan.