I-League | Mohun Bagan downs Punjab FC

Ideally positioned: Babacar Diawara nods home the match-winner for Mohun Bagan.

Ideally positioned: Babacar Diawara nods home the match-winner for Mohun Bagan.   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

Opens up nine-point lead at the top of the table

Mohun Bagan cruised to its fourth consecutive win, downing Punjab FC by a solitary goal in the I-League at its home ground Kalyani Stadium on Sunday.

The win helped Mohun Bagan consolidate its position on top of the table, opening up a nine-point lead over its closest challenger — Punjab FC.

Senegalese striker Babacar Diawara found the only goal of the encounter late in the first half to see the 2015 champion collect the full quota of points and extend its unbeaten run to nine matches. Bagan now tallies 26 points from 11 matches.

The host went for the kill early and opened up the flanks in an effort to feed the Senegalese forward in the box, but the Punjab defence held strong. V.P. Suhair, partnering Diawara, came close to finishing first but saw his header, on a Joseba Beitia corner, going over in the 20th minute.

Bagan almost found the target again in the 39th minute when Punjab’s Nepalese goalkeeper Kiran Limbu fumbled while trying to clear a cross from Ashutosh Mehta. Suhair tried a snap header on goal as the ball rebounded off the ’keeper. But doughty Brazilian midfielder Danilo Augusto cut it off from the line.

The Punjab defence finally succumbed to the relentless Bagan efforts in the 42nd minute when Diawara reached a long throw from Dhanachandra Singh and nodded home.

Bagan went for greater glory after the break but failed despite its best efforts. The host did find the mark for the second time in the 61st minute when its defender Francisco Morante flicked home a Beitia free-kick. But the goal was disallowed for off-side.

Beitia had another good chance in the 77th minute but the Spaniard remained wayward and shot over from close.

The result: Mohun Bagan 1 (Babacar Diawara 42) bt Punjab FC 0.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 1:06:40 AM |

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