MATCH REPORT: Courageous Indian Arrows take a hard-earned away point over lack-lustre Mohun Bagan
A 2 pm fixture at the Mohun Bagan ground saw a good turn-out. Indian Arrows had beaten Shillong Ljaong in the last game whereas Bagan had drawn their last game with NEROCA.
Bagan took the lead through a penalty scored by Dipanda but Arrows drew level soon after.
The young Indian Arrows kept the ball and maintained the usual speedy movement when in possession. Bagan consisting of a few youngsters themselves did try to use the wings to move forward. Kromah and Dipanda were the target men for the Mariners and both were kept in check well by the Arrows.
A mistake by Rai, who had been impressive in the opening mistakes, saw Bagan being awarded a penalty. Dipanda stepped up to score but had to re-take his kick. In his second attempt, he stuck powerfully to beat Dheeraj and send the home fans in frenzy. Arrows kept their composure and got their reward just 5 minutes later. Rahim Ali made a dash with the ball along the left flank and played the ball beautifully to a waiting Rahul in the box who taps it to bring them level.
The equaliser saw Mohun stepping up their attack as the Arrows defence was worked up with multiple attacks from the home team. Kromah was picked well behind the defence and his flick was saved with a finger tip save by Dheeraj just before half time.
Post the break, the attacks continued and Arrows really felt the pressure. Among the attacks by the home team, Arrows created a chance of their own. Rahim was in space on the left, won the ball well from the defenders and crossed it low and no team mate was in the right place in the box. The second half saw the Arrows chasing the ball for the most part and defending a lot. Amarjit the captain saw losing his cool and making a cynical poor challenge. And that earned him a second yellow card and eventual red card with 25 minutes remaining in the game. Kadam, was brilliant in the game, providing great crosses from both wings but the story of the game was Dipanda and Kromah not being at the their clinical best to finish the chances created.
Kromah and Faiaz were at the end of another Kadam cross and both players came in each other's way and none got the shot away. Kingley had another chance to score when the ball from the corner fell to his feet. His shot went flying over the bar. Manandeep Singh the substitute was involved in a nasty challenge on Rai when his overhead kick attempt knocked off Rai and he fell to the ground from about two feet height. A noteworthy moment was when Rai got back to his feet, he was patted by the Mohun Bagan players around him and also acknowledged by the crowd. Rai however could not continue for too long and had to stretchered and substituted a while later.
Bagan did not let up the attacks. Manandeep's shot on the turn was way off target from outside the box. The Arrows defence was severely tested but the scraped through the last 15 minutes of the game with some timely clearances and interceptions.
The historic match at the Mohun Bagan ground ended with both teams settling with a point each. Arrows should be the happier of the two teams coming to Bagan, leveling after going down and holding onto it for more than 25 minutes with a man less.
The Arrows receiving a warm round of applause from the @Mohun_Bagan faithfuls for their superlative effort. #HeroILeague #MBvARW pic.twitter.com/q8ue9CiegV— Hero I-League (@ILeagueOfficial) December 29, 2017