The Mariners defeated Colombo FC 2-1 at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium on Tuesday evening…
Mohun Bagan seemed to be the dominant side throughout the match while the visitors had to sit back and deal with the Mariners’ attacks. Colombo FC, who were defeated by Mohun Bagan in the first leg of the AFC Cup qualifying round at their home ground, were again bested by their Indian counterparts as Mohun Bagan won the match and went on to the next round.
Despite all the expectations of an attacking brand of football from the Sri Lankan side, Colombo FC started the match rather tediously. With being one goal down in the aggregate, the men in Yellow went deep down as Mohun Bagan kept bombarding in every possible way.
The match started with a touch of physicality as Mohun Bagan’s Jeje Lalpekhlua tackled and brought down Colombo’s Momas Yapo in the 3rd minute. As a response, Yapo retaliated in the very same minute when he brought down Bagan skipper Katsumi Yusa who received the ball from Bikramjit Singh as a result of Singh’s interception of Yapo.
Mohun Bagan’s Scottish marksman Darryl Duffy had a tough time playing in a deeper role despite being an out-and-out striker. Duffy, who has been in a scintillating form this season in the domestic League was the recipient of a long ball from Souvik Ghosh but wasted the sitter as the ball went wide.
Afeez Olofin of Colombo FC performed an amazing run to the Mariners’ box but was taken down by Bikramjit Singh Jr in the 16th minute. In the following seconds, Mohun Bagan defense had again successfully dealt with another Colombo FC attack when Bikramjit Singh Sr intercepted Nagur Meera and took him down.
While playing an attacking brand of Football, several Mohun Bagan players performed a below-par performance such as Souvik Ghosh and Darryl Duffy. The Scottish footballer wasted three sitters in the first 25 minutes while Ghosh could not cope with the pace and physicality of Colombo’s foreign players.
However, Mohun Bagan took the lead in the 28th minute when Sony Norde scored the first goal of the evening from a cutting edge pass by Darryl Duffy. In the following minutes, Colombo became more cautious as Rifnas and Chalana started marking Katsumi and Norde more carefully.
Colombo came as a different team in the second half as the visitors started attacking in the opponents’ box more often. The inclusion of Zarwan Zohar in the 55th minute completely changed the visitors’ game into an aggressive one.
Darryl Duffy finally found his footing in the second half as the Mohun Bagan striker found the back of the net in the 56th minute after receiving a pass from Sony Norde from the left wing, who was supplied by skipper Katsumi Yusa in the midfield.
Colombo FC came close to scoring when a shot from Zarwan Zohar defeated Bagan goalkeeper Shilton Paul in the 57th minute but was cleared by stopper Anas Edathodika from the goal line. In the following minutes, two more Colombo attacks were broken down by Mohun Bagan defense.
Balwant Singh was substituted in for Sony Norde in the 62nd minute and missed a penalty kick in the 79th minute which could have been the third goal of the evening for the Indian club.
Zohar spearheaded three more Colombo FC attacks in the dying minutes of the match as Momas Yapo scored the only goal for the visitors in the 88th minute when the Ivory Coast footballer dribbled four Mohun Bagan defenders and shot the ball in the bottom right corner of the goal, making the score 2-1.
Four minutes of injury time was added by the referee in the second half which might have seen a goal or two for the home side but was wasted when Jeje Lalpekhlua missed a sitter in front of the goal before the referee whistled to indicate the conclusion of the match.