Mohun Bagan held to goalless draw By Neroca
An insipid-looking Mohun Bagan were held to a goalless draw by debutants Neroca FC in an I-League match here today. Much to the delight of the Mariners' fans
An insipid-looking Mohun Bagan were held to a goalless draw by debutants Neroca FC in an I-League match here today. Much to the delight of the Mariners' fans, Sony Norde and Ansumana Kromah were back after they saw their side share honours with Shillong Lajong. The duo suffered injuries against Churchill Brothers. Eze Kingsley was suspended and Rana Gharami made his first I-League start with the Green and Maroons. Dipendu Dowary was relegated to the bench while the unimpressive Naro Hari Shrestha was chucked out of the 18-man squad for Azharuddin Mallick. Rana Gharami was adjudged the Hero of the Match for his impressive performance. Gift Raikhan introduced Akhlidin Israilov for Pritam Singh behind striker Felix Chidi. While Subash Singh and Gopi Singh flanked him, Fabien Vorbe and Saran Singh acted as the shield above the defence. Aryn Williams continued to play as a makeshift centre- half but Gouramangi Singh was back on the bench after recovering from a hamstring injury that struck him in pre- season.
After his first minute shot that was saved by a diving Lalit Thapa, Norde appeared to be not completely fit as Aser Dipanda took all of the subsequent set-pieces. A couple that he missed could have been capitalised by the Haitian on another day. The orange-clad side appeared at ease as they dictated proceeding from the centre of the park. Subash Singh and Gopi Singh interchanged flanks regularly to flummox the Mohun Bagan fullbacks. However, Felix Chidi and Israilov could not convert from easy chances they got in the first half. Ansumana Kromah put the ball into the net to send the home crowd cheering from Shilton D'Silva's through ball but he was ruled offside by the linesman. That story trickled into the second half when five minutes after the resumption, Norde's goal was disallowed as he was trapped offside after Kromah released him from his dangerous sprint down the middle.
While Mohun Bagan's attack appeared toothless with Aser Dipanda cutting a sorry figure, it was the midfield which included Raynier Fernandes and Shilton D'Silva that held on. Even Rana Gharami was impressive in the way he handled the backline in the absence of Kingsley. The Manipuri outfit looked content with the draw but Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen will be worried about his captain Norde's injury after he was stretchered out of the field, further aggravating his knock on the left knee. The Green and Maroons have now dropped four points at home and it looks set to cost them dear in the title race as they remain on the third spot with nine points from five outings. Neroca FC travel to Shillong Lajong as they hold onto their fifth spot while the Kolkata giants have a long break before they welcome Indian Arrows on December 29.
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