KOLKATA: Mohun Bagan came from behind to hold Rainbow Athletic Club to a 1-1 draw in Calcutta Football League on Wednesday.
Mohun Bagan found the equalizer in the 60th minute thanks to Ansumana Kromah after Rainbow AC took the lead in the 30th minute through Suraj Mahato at Mohun Bagan Ground.
The draw took Mohun Bagan to the summit of the table with 16 points ahead of East Bengal’s clash against Pathachakra Club tomorrow.
Going into the game, Mohun Bagan coach Sankarlal Chakraborty made four changes from the side that beat Tollygunge Agragami. While Bikramjit Singh replaced a suspended Eze Kingsley, Sarthak Golui, Surchandra Singh and Pintu Mahata came at the expenses of Arijit Bagui, Shilton D’Silva and Azharuddin Mallick respectively.
Both the teams played an attacking game but Mohun Bagan were more threatening going forward, thanks to crisp passing, good off-the-ball movement and dazzling individual skills from Kromah and Bayi Kamo Stephane.
As the match progressed, Mohun Bagan mounted pressure on the rival goal from the flanks with Chesterpaul Lyngdoh providing some nice crosses for Kromah and Kamo and the later almost created the opener after doing well to beat his marker and lay a ball for Kromah, who failed to direct his effort from a good position.
While Mohun Bagan pressed high up, opponents Rainbow AC managed to take the lead against the run of the play at the other end. Some questionable defending saw Suraj plant a powerful header past Mohun Bagan keeper Shibinraj Kunniyil.
The goal stunned Mohun Bagan momentarily but they did not lose hope and began attacking with intensity through Kamo, Kromah and Chesterpaul, but rivals Rainbow AC managed to hold on defending deep.
The Mariners kept on the pressure as the game dragged towards the end of first half. In the 43rd minute, Chesterpaul delivered a low corner–kick which was cleverly evaded by Kamo for lurking Mahata, whose angular header slightly go over the bar as the first half ended 1-0.
Mohun Bagan started like a house on fire in the second half and had a couple of early scoring chances but Surchandra and Kamo lacked the direction to find the mark.
Rainbow AC, on the other hand, could have increased the lead in the 54th minute but Yao Kouassi Bernard failed to convert a pass from Bazie Armand into goal.
Having missed a host of chances till the hour mark, Mohun Bagan finally restored the parity through Kromah. Kamo cut past a rival defender and released the ball to Kromah who placed it into the net past keeper Ankur Das.
The goal spurred the Mariners forward who piled more pressure onto Rainbow AC defense with Kromah looking dangerous going forward but found stiff resistance from the rival defense that kept the Liberian on a tight lease.
Meanwhile, at the other end, Rainbow AC too had a few close chances but the Mohun Bagan defense led by skipper Kinshuk Debnath worked well to thwart every single attempt throughout the half as the game ended 1-1.