The Mariners picked up successive wins for only the second time this season, giving them some momentum heading into a tricky period.
Mohun Bagan captured a resounding 2-0 victory over Shillong Lajong at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday, to move into fifth place in the I-League standings. A booming strike from Yuta Kinowaki gave the Mariners the lead and they were helped to a second goal scored by Henry Kisekka.
While Shillong’s despair continued, Mohun Bagan picked up successive wins for only the second time this season, giving them some momentum heading into a tricky period. Here are our talking points from the game:
4. Are injuries disrupting Mohun Bagan’s season?
The Mariners lost the services of key midfielder Sourav Das, who had to be replaced after seemingly picking up a hamstring injury. Das adds to a long list of injuries, which also includes defender Sukhdev Singh, winger Pintu Mahata and star man Sony Norde.
Sankarlal Chakraborty’s being dealt no favours with all these injuries and with key personnel missing, it could disrupt their momentum heading into an important set of games. Kinowaki also briskly slumped away after being substituted against Lajong, giving another headache to the Mariners. Injuries are also disrupting his team chemistry, with the gaffer constantly having to shuffle his system because of players picking up knocks every now and then.
3. Did Alison Kharsyntiew’s changes work out?
After receiving a humiliating 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Real Kashmir, Alison Kharsyntiew decided to change his system, to adopt a more cautious approach against Mohun Bagan. He made three changes, with goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa, right-back Kynsailang Khongsit and Kitboklang Pale coming in. However, only Lachenpa was the standout performer from that group, making some good saves to prevent the Mariners from making it a hammering and giving some encouragement to his coach.
Khongsit looked uneasy the entire game and made a hilarious error when his clearance struck Kisekka for the second goal. Pale was also ineffective, proving that the particular change in style and system wasn’t enough to save Lajong from despair.
2. Are Yuta Kinowaki and Omar Elhussieny the new creative force for Mohun Bagan?
Kinowaki distributed play smoothly and often roamed forward to help his side create chances
Kinowaki and Omar ElHussieny both had prolific games against Lajong, with the former Reds midfielder scoring an absolute slobber-knocker against his former employers. Kinowaki seemed much more mobile in midfield, distributing play smoothly and often roaming forward to help his side create chances. With the experienced Mehtab Hossain behind him, the Japanese midfielder created danger for Lajong on multiple occasions.
Similarly, Elhusseiny was also on song, creating some clever moves with his intelligence. The Egyptian sought his attackers with some sleek passes and capitalized on Lajong’s inexperienced defending. With Norde sidelined, Kinowaki and Omar are taking control by becoming the creative force for the Mariners and seem much more dangerous going forward.
- In the group stage, the side that fights hardest on the pitch will emerge as the winner– Narayan Das
- Indian players need to play every match in the AFC Asian Cup with all their heart– Prasanta Banerjee
1. Things are (probably) going to get worse for Shillong Lajong
Lajong looked like a dejected unit
Shillong Lajong might have recorded a famous draw away to Mohun Bagan last season, but they looked a shell of that side on Sunday. They were once again disappointing defensively and grew frail as the game went on. Despite defending vigorously in the first half, they crumbled in the second. Aibanbha Dohling was made to pay for his poor clearance when Kinowaki thumped in emphatically and Khongsit’s horrible defending gifted a second goal to the Mariners.
If they don’t improve their defending, Lajong will probably be overwhelmed by league leaders Chennai City and NEROCA FC in their next set of games. They seem a dejected unit going forward as well, not moving or playing with the same swagger they did initially.