HERO I-LEAGUE: Bagan down Minerva to stay alive in title race

Kolkata, January 9, 2019: Mohun Bagan returned to winning ways under Khalid Jamil as they beat Minerva Punjab 2-0 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) on Wednesday.

Though the win improves Bagan’s chances of a top-half finish they still have an outside chance to win the 12th Hero I-League title.

Egyptian midfielder Omar El Hussieny converted a penalty in the first-half while Cameroonian striker Dipanda Dicka scored in the second. This is Bagan’s fifth win of the season.

Jamil’s team consolidate their hold on sixth spot in the league table.

Minerva on the other hand are stuck on seventh with hopes of a title defence looking improbable.

Jamil played Gurjinder and Dalraj (defence) and Abhishek Ambekar (left-back) and kept Arijit Bagui and Ugandan forward Henry Kisekka on the bench. Dicka was the lone striker while Sony Norde played on the left wing.

Minerva coach Paul Munster played Yu Kuboki and Prabhjot Singh upfront due to the unavailability of William Opoku.

Bagan despite dominating possession couldn’t find a way past Minerva in the first-half. The visitors at times defended with nine men in their own half!

The home team broke the deadlock when Omar El Hussieny scored from the spot at the halfway mark.

The Kolkata outfit’s strategy of holding on to possession caused Minerva problems in the second-half.

It worked when Dicka beat goalkeeper Bhaskar Roy (and the off-side trap!) to score Bagan’s second goal in the 69th minute. Norde’s through-ball in the build-up to the goal was worth a mention!

Roy’s fantastic save off El Hussieny ensured that Minerva didn’t concede again.

The second-half introduction of Moinuddin, Dilliram Sanyasi and Makan Winkle Chote didn’t make a difference for Minerva.

Bagan host Neroca FC in two days’ time while Minerva have a 10-day break before their game against Gokulam Kerala at home.

Also Read: MDFA ELITE DIVISION: Banky shines as Sellebrity gun down FSI

Also Read: HERO I-LEAGUE: Experience to the fore as East Bengal edge out Arrows

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