MOHUN BAGAN MADE A thrilling comeback in the Calcutta Football League title race with a 2-1 victory over Mohammedan Sporting today.
Playing at Kalyani in the afternoon, the Mariners went on the backfoot early in the game as Sheikh Faiaz, a young striker for the Black Panthers, found the net.
But Mohun Bagan kept a tight leash on the game, leading multiple attacks to try and get back in the game. Around the half hour mark they almost equalized when Shilton De Silva, coming off an injury, got hold of a chipped ball and headed it towards the target. The ball came off the post.
It wasn't long before the equalizer finally came. It came from another youngster coming off an injury spell. Azharuddin Mallick, the young striker who came under the limelight after he scored against East Bengal in last season's I-League, proved his worth as a big game player once again when he got hold of a cross from Bayi Kamo and hit home. At half-time, the game was at an even 1-1.
The second half saw Mohun Bagan try to press Mohammedan hard and there were many occasions when they obtained free kicks from dangerous positions as well as corners. But the Black Panthers held on, and the game seemed to be moving towards an inevitable draw.
But into the first minute of injury time, it was Azharuddin who once again came to the rescue. A cross from Chesterpaul Lyngdoh saw the youngster flick it past the keeper. Mohun Bagan finished the first 'Mini Derby' of the season in a victorious note by a 2-1 margin.
This win brings Mohun Bagan back in the title race. With 19 points from 7 matches, they are temporarily at the top of the table. East Bengal (a perfect 18 points from 6 matches) still have a chance to overtake them.
This tight win from a difficult game has gone a long way to set up the much awaited Kolkata Derby between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan as the title decider. East Bengal are at the doorstep of a historic 8th straight CFL title, and with Mohammedan Sporting now surely out of the title race, it seems only Mohun Bagan are left standing in their way.
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