Kochi: Striker Odafa Okolie scored twice to help Mohun Bagan beat Chirag United 3-1 in the 18th round I League encounter played at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium.
Odafa scored twice off penalty in 35th and 84th minute, while Jose Barreto scored once in the 86th minute. For Chirag, Anil Kumar (47th) brought up the solitary goal.
Bagan were playing without Sunil Chhetri and Syed Rahim Nabi but the duo of Odafa Okolie and Jose Barreto proved enough to rattle the home side.
The home side started on a positive note with Anil and David Sunday, who are playing upfront in the absence of Ajayan, dominating the initial minutes. But their dominance lasted only for the first 30 minutes as their opponents were at their attacking best.
The first goal was scored off penalty by Odafa who made no mistake to give the lead to the maroon brigade in the 35th minute. The scoreline remained unchanged till the halftime.
Changing over, Chirag United equalised when Anil Kumar slotted in off Asif`s lofted pass just after two minutes into the second half.
Chirag upped their game after scoring the goal and managed to create couple of chances upfront. But fortunes were overturn in the 84th minute as Odafa again scored from spot, when Jimshad U handled the ball on the goalline, prompting referee Rowan to show the second red card and award a penalty.
There was still time left for one more goal as Jose Barreto found the back of the net to score the third goal for Bagan in the 86th minute.
Odafa Okolie was adjudged man of the match.
Mohun Bagan now have 33 points from 18 matches just one point behind East Bengal and four behind leaders Dempo SC. While Chirag stay on 11points from 17 outings.