Mohun Bagan outplay Air India 3-1
Kolkata: Mohun Bagan pumped in two goals in five minutes in the second half to beat a spirited Air India 3-1 in a round 12 I-League fixture at Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Wednesday.
Odafa Okolie struck twice (42nd and 84th minutes) while Ashim Biswas scored the third goal in the 79th minute.
Air India sparkled in patches and levelled the score with a Mohammad Shafi strike in the 55th minute to make it 1-1.
But Mohun Bagan scored twice in a space of five minutes to end Air India`s three-match winning run.
Mohun Bagan now have 24 points, while Air India remained on 19.
First-half action was mostly confined to midfield as both the teams started out on attacking note.
With Jose Barreto and Hudson Lima back in the side, Mohun Bagan had a better share of ball possession even as a goal eluded till the 42nd minute.
Air India custodian Pawan Kumar shone under the bar thwarting some penetrating moves by Mohun Bagan in the first half.
In a 27th minute move, Syed Rahim Nabi attacked from the left wing but his shot was saved by an outstretched Pawan.
Two minutes later, Sheikh Jewel Raja`s long ranger from Odafa was off-target.
Mohun Bagan continued with their raids with Odafa and Lima looking to break the shackles.
Their efforts bore fruit when Odafa coolly tackled Air India defenders after getting a Lima centre to tap it past Pawan who had no chance.
But Air India came back strongly with a powerful right-footer by Mohammad Shafi as Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee was reduced to an onlooker.
Locked 1-1, Ashim Biswas revived the fortunes of Mohun Bagan when he utilised a Rakesh Masih pass to perfection to give his team the lead again.
There was no stopping Mohun Bagan as in five minutes` time, Odafa completed his brace outskilling five Air India defenders to settle the issue.