Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bagan rally to beat HAL

An ardent HAL fan questions?
  •  Why did HAL go defensive right from the 46th minute, even before Femi went out.
  •  Why was RC replaced, he played his best game after many years.
  •  Why did Hamza came down in defense?
  •  HAL looked best when they were attacking, even in patches in 2nd half, why this defensive mindset?
  • What is the count of I-League matches in this season when HAL took the lead and then squandered big time?
The Aircraftsmen yet again failed to hold a lead. With just a point from 9 matches, HAL is simply losing the plot!

Putting up a spirited show in the later half, Mohun Bagan came back from a two-goal deficit, pumped four, and a registered a morale-boosting win in their 9th round match. For the Aircraftsmen, same saga repeated, could not hold to a comfortable 2-0 margin, and paid the price for instilling over-cautious approach in the second-half. 

Bagan could have taken the lead right in the 18th minute. Left flank was operating very smoothly, Snehasish Chakrabarty’s cross for Barreto, created a one-on-one situation with HAL keeper. The latter's left footer was magnificently saved by Gautam Debnath. Otherwise crafty left half, Snehasish Chakrabarty was responsible for couple of misses after holding the ball for more than the needed time. 

25 minutes to the game, hosts took the lead thru a Malemngangba Meeti neat header from RC Prakash cross. 6 minutes later, another one, this time from striker Hamza! Bagan keeper, Sangram came out of charge and took no time for Hamza to place the ball to the goal. 

Post lemon-break, everyone thought HAL set to pocket full-points for the first time in this season. However, their skipper Femi Adeola came out of the pitch injured, over-defensive HAL paid the price and started conceding goals.
Star Odafa Okolie, latched on a corner from Snehasish to score the first goal for MohunBagan in the 60th minute. 

HAL got a quick chance to increase their lead. RC Prakash did enough to pass the ball to Vinoth Kumar. With Bagan keeper and defender out of position, all young Vinoth needed was to touch the ball, however, he failed, and missed an open net. 

The corner combination of Snehasish and Odafa again worked for Bagan in the 69th minute. This time from a back header that came via Jewel Raja’s header and gave Bagan the equalizer. 

Mohun Bagan took lead in the 89th minute from a move from left flank orchestrated by Syed Rahim Nabi. Odafa’s shot from Snehasish cross, went to Jewel. The later, using his right footed, gets the ball past the goal. 

Substitute Manish Maithani joined the party in added time, his solo left footed effort after dribbling past few HAL players from outside the box, yielded the best goal of the match. 

MohunBagan Technical Director, Subrata Bhattachayra looked relaxed, “Forget the game we played, important is that we’ve got full points. We did not play a good first-half, however, during the break, told my boys to play from the wings, and that worked for us today.”