Kolkata: Mohun Bagan struck twice on either side of the break to register a 2-1 win over Viva Kerala in a 17th round encounter of the I-League at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Saturday. The win came as a breath of fresh air after a string of draws.
The win took Bagan`s points tally to 25 as they are now fifth in the league table. Viva Kerala remained in the relegation zone with 12 points.
Leading the charge of a depleted Mohun Bagan attack, Subair Murithala Ali provided the lead in the 37th minute, while Jose Ramirez Barreto coming in as a substitute rounded off the tally in the 86th minute.
C S Sabeeth, who was susbstituted for N P Pradeep, struck one in the second-half injury time to reduce the margin.
In absence of Nigerian forward Edeh Chidi and central midfielder Jayanta Sen because of double booking, Subhash Bhowmick`s boys made a cautious start to the proceedings.
Murithala got his name on the scorer`s sheet when he followed a Surkumar Singh`s long ranger and scored making full use of a defensive error.
Recuperating from an injury, Barreto was brought in place of an off-colour Ashim Biswas in the 78th minute.
As always the talismanic Brazilian made his presence felt as he doubled the lead four minutes from regulation time.
Murithala who was adjudged man-of-the-match was instrumental in the second goal as well as the Nigerian`s defence splitting through pass was met by Gouranga Biswas. Biswas`s assist was put into an open net by Barreto.
Sabeeth scored from a Felix Chimawuku pass from right in the second minute of the injury time but it was too late for the Kerala outfit who have now suffered nine losses.