I-League: United stun Bagan 2-1
Kolkata: United Sports Club dealt a big blow to Mohun Bagan`s title aspiration by notching up a 2-1 victory in their return leg I-League fixture at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Sunday.
Kayne Vincent (16th) gave United SC the lead but Bagan hit back in three minutes, courtesy an Anwar Ali strike as both the teams, in race for title, made their intention clear early into the start.
But it was Deepak Mondal who produced a powerful right-footer from 30 yards that sealed Bagan`s fate as they registered the second successive I-League win this season against the same opponents.
The Sanjoy Sen side, who had beaten Mohun Bagan 3-2 in the first-leg, did well to mark goalmachine Odafa Okolie, while Ashim Biswas and Jose Barreto did not have the same sting to bounce back once again.
With two wins from as many matches, United SC (28 points) displaced Bagan (27) from the fourth position in the standings, as the Sanjoy Sen-coached side broke into top five. It was the second straight loss for Mohun Bagan as they went down to Sporting Clube de Goa by a similar margin in their away last round fixture.
United SC kept pressure on the Bagan defence and almost took a third minute lead when Yusif Yakubu`s header in front of the goal went wide.
However in the 16th minute, Vincent`s header from a James Singh corner was spot on to give United the lead.
United`s joy was shortlived as Bagan soon hit back when Ali found himself unmarked as he capitalised on a Bello Rasaq deflection to bring in the equaliser.
After the break, United kept on attacking with Yakubu and Shankar Oraon up front and kept the Bagan defence under pressure.
Odafa had a chance to bring Bagan back on track in the 59th minute but his shot went straight to United goalkeeper Abhijit Mondal.
But United settled the issue when their right back struck out of the blue with a long-ranger that beat Mukherjee and hit the second post before getting inside the net.
Bagan tried desperately to return to action but United defence and goalkeeper Abhijit Mondal stuck to their task for yet another fine win.