Chirag United stun Mohun Bagan 1-0
Kolkata: Joshimar D`Silva struck a late goal to help Chirag United stun Mohun Bagan 1-0 at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan here today, as the green-and-maroon brigade`s miserable run in the I-League continued.
Joshimar struck the winner in the 81st minute to help Chirag earn their third win. Chirag now have 13 points from eight matches, while Mohun Bagan remained on eight points from as many matches.
After their humiliating 0-2 loss at the hands of minnows Viva Kerala in the previous match, Mohun Bagan employed a different strategy, bringing star forward Jose Ramirez Barreto in the second half, while their defence saw the inclusions of latest recruit Okwy Diamondstar and N Mohan Raj.
But that did not help as the Australian defender failed to dazzle in his first outing and was duly replaced by a striker in Barreto.
Durand Cup champions, Chirag, kept Mohun Bagan on their toes in the entire first-half and if not for some fantastic saves by custodian Shilton Paul, the purple boys could have enjoyed a 2-0 lead in the first 45 minutes.
Such was Chirag`s dominance that Mohun Bagan did not get a single chance in the first half even as their forward got a boost by the return of Edeh Chidi from a long injury lay-off.
In the 10th minute Shilton sparkled thwarting a Joshimar header from a Jerry Zirsanga centre, but the Mohun Bagan goalkeeper`s finest save came when he denied Lalkamal Bhowmick a fine goal from a superb curling freekick at the stroke of half time.
Missing his regular partner Elijah Junior who is out with an injury, Joshimar struggled to combine with Branco Cardozo who was replaced by Chirag`s Durand Cup hero Mohammad Rafique in the 40th minute.
Having bungled one in front of an open net from a Gouranga Dutta centre in the 29th minute, Joshimar made up for his miss striking in the 81st minute from a solo run.
Taking advantage of the off-colour Mohun Bagan defence, Joshimar ran from the right flank and got past Kingshuk Debnath before converting it without any fuss.
Mohun Bagan had a solitary chance in the 58th minute with Chidi and Barreto upfront but the duo could not get past Chirag goalkeeper Abhijit Mandal who did a fine job under the bar.