The Mariners were on the right song against the Black Panthers as they picked up a comprehensive win in the opening game.
A dual strike from Spaniard Salvador Martinez was enough to tame the Black Panthers in the Durand Cup opener at the Salt Lake Stadium.
Watch: Mohun Bagan 2-0 Mohammedan Sporting Club highlights
Here are the talking points from the match:
1. Is Joseba Beitia the midfield influence which Mohun Bagan missed last season?
The dynamic centre midfielder from Spain have proved his mettle in his very first game in India for Mohun Bagan. His exceptional defece breaking deliveries found forward running players most often. It was from his swerving freekick Salva Chamorro broke the deadlock.
Beitia kept on breaking the line, retriveing possesion and dominated his Mohammedan counterparts in the heart of the field. The 28-year old is swift with his movement and can create spaces for the players in front of him. He is definitely a player which Mohun Bagan missed last season.
2. Could possibly losing Hira Mondal affect Mohameddan Sporting’s Durand Cup campaign?
Hira Mondal was one of the star Indian players in the Calcutta Football League last season, as his impressive performances inspired his side Peerless to finish second to Mohun Bagan. He joined Mohammedan Sporting and a lot was expected from the young full-back.
But lady luck was not on his side as suffered a serious blow on the 22nd minute and was stretchered out of play. Hira’s absence made Mohammedan timid going in front as the former Peerless defender is an astute defender and also exceptional going upfront on the overlap. Hence it was big blow for coach Subrata Bhattacharya and his team to lose a crucial player so early in the game.
3. Salva Chamorro set to become Mohun Bagan’s talisman this season?
The 29-year old Barcelona ‘B’ forward has already become the fan favourite for the Mariners in his very first match. Chamorro is a typical targetman and a suits the phrase- ‘fox in the box’. His intricate movement and gigantic leap gives him the edge over opposition defenders to head the ball cleanly.
Chamorro’s brace was a testament to the fact that his aerial prowess is something which can haunt opposition defenders in the coming matches. The Spaniard held his line pretty well and dropped deep and helped out his midfielders when needed. All in all he looks to be the main man upfront for Kibu Vicuna this season.
4. Did Mohammedan Sporting miss the killer instinct in the final third?
The Black Panthers did create some chances in a game which was dominated by Mohun Bagan atleast in terms of possession. Ivorian forward Arthur Kouassi also forced Shilton Paul to make a outstanding save from his header from close in. Mohun Bagan defence were vulnerable at times but the Mohammedan forwards failed to seize the opportunities that came their way.
A late mishap and slip from Beitia meant, Tirthankar Sarkar was free with only Shilton Paul to beat and Kouassi in close for support. But the midfielder tried an audacious chip and to his disappointment the ball swirled wide handing them the misery yet again.
5.Has Shilton Paul done enough to be Mohun Bagan’s #1 this season?
Mohun Bagan veteran Shilton Paul had a great day at the office as he came up with some brilliant saves and was also decent with his deliveries. With Debjit Majumder’s arrival and a a young Sankar Roy waiting in the blocks to pounce in every opportunity he gets, Shilton had to perform on the big stage. The veteran custodian repaid the faith shown by coach, Kibu Vicuna and came up with an impressive display.
His main highlight in the game was when he showed tremendous reflex and pulled out a great acrobatic save stopping a bullet header from Kouassi from close range. Shilton was safe as houses and marshalled his defenders pretty well from behind. He can be Vicuna’s main man under the bars if he keeps his consistencey intact.