ISL 2023-24: Second-half stellar save Mohun Bagan's unbeaten run
(Courtesy : ISL media)
This was Mohun Bagan’s first match without a win in the ongoing ISL.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant defender Subhasish Bose handled the ball inside the box in the 30th minute, handing a clear cut spot-kick to the visitors. Jahouh stepped up for the penalty duties, and made no errors, slotting the ball into the bottom right corner. However, the midfielder was not going to settle for only that in Kolkata.
At the brink of the half-time whistle, Diego Mauricio cut into the left side of the Mariners’ box, showing some quick footwork before squaring up a pass for an onrushing Jahouh. The former Mumbai City FC star struck it into the back of the net with his first touch, before embarking on a jubilant celebration. A first-half brace for someone who averaged an ISL goal every 1665.5 minutes before this.
He was taken off for Lenny Rodrigues in the 57th minute as Sergio Lobera perhaps looked to safeguard the two-goal lead. Regardless, he capped off his game after winning six tackles, the outright most by any player with a 100% success rate in a single game of ISL 2023-24.
The Mariners struck back though, and in some riveting fashion. Kiyan Nassiri, who is only going strength to strength playing for the outfit, showed quick awareness to set up a goal with a short pass for Armando Sadiku in the 59th minute.
The Albanian has arguably been overshadowed with his illustrious offensive teammates like Jason Cummings and Dimitri Petratos. However, the forward, into his 15th year of professional football now, is not one to be taken lightly.
The hallmark of a great striker is to be at the right place at the right time. They can go under the radar for major portions of the game, but when the moment arrives, they are up there to show their presence. And Sadiku showed his presence tremendously though.
With his first goal, Mohun Bagan cut back the Odisha FC lead. But, for a long period, it appeared that it would end up being only a consolation strike and nothing else, until Hector Yuste found Sadiku at the centre of the box with a precise delivery that was shot past Amrinder Singh for the all-important equaliser.
Sadiku’s brace did not merely salvage a point for the Mariners. With 15 of them from their first five games, they have gotten off to a fantastic start irrespective of what would have been the outcome of this game. But the striker and his invaluable efforts ensured that their confidence did not take a hit.
Key Performer of the Match
Armando Sadiku (Mohun Bagan Super Giant)
Sadiku rounded off the game with two goals, whose importance exceeds imaginations for the Mariners given the context and circumstances. He played 20 passes, completing 17 of them, and also made a clearance and created a goal-scoring opportunity each.
What’s next for both teams?
Odisha FC will play their next ISL fixture against Hyderabad FC on December 17, whereas the Mariners will travel to take on NorthEast United FC in Guwahati on December 15.
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