CFL 2019 Talking Points: Is fitness a primary concern for Mohun Bagan?
Written by: Atrayo Bhattacharya
The Mariners are yet to register a win in the new season of the competition.
The Mariners came out strongly in the first half after a 0-3 drubbing against Peerless in their opening fixture. It was Fran Gonzalez who opened the scoring for Kibu Vicuna's men. But, a late equalizer from Eze Stanley earned a point for the away side in a 1-1 stalemate.
Here are our talking points from theb match:
5. Is fitness a primary concern for Mohun Bagan?
The Mariners have had different fortunes in the CFL and Durand Cup in terms of results. But, one thing which has been evident in all their matches so far this season is fitness. Once the clock gets over the hour mark in the game, the Bagan players tend to struggle. A similar thing happened against Calcutta Customs, which led to chances for the away side.
Players like Philip Adjah and Stanley haunted the Green and Maroon defence time and again with their blistering pace on the counter. The players looked tired and weary as the game progressed and the goal they conceded late on seemed inevitable. Vicuna needs to address this problem soon or else his team will be in deep trouble.
4. Was bringing in Philip Adjah early in the game a masterstroke from Rajib De?
Calcutta Customs head coach Rajib De analyzed the game early on and despite trailing by a goal, he took the chance to bring in Philip Adjah for midfielder John Ampong. The former Mohammedan Sporting attacker has shown what he can do last season, scoring against both the Kolkata giants. Hence, his presence on the counter was troubling the Mohun Bagan defence, who kept a high line due to their possessional style of football.
Adjah combined well with Stanley in attack and used his blistering pace to break the offside trap time and again. If not for Sankar Roy between the sticks, Bagan could have lost this match as well. Roy denied Adjah multiple times and kept the Mariners in the game.
3. Has Francisco Gonzalez Munoz finally found his feet in Mohun Bagan colours?
The defensive midfielder was used in central defence alongside Lalchwankima. However, the Spaniard made some valuable interceptions and read the game well in the first half. To top everything, the 30-year also found the back of the net from outside the box. It looked like the match for the former Lee Man midfielder to announce his arrival at Bagan.
However, theere was a contrasting performance in the second 45, where he was out of position and failed to retrieve possession as he did earlier. He was also getting committed way too many times, allowing Stanley and Adjah to run past him. Gonzalez still needs time to settle into th team.
2. Has Sankar Roy done enough to be the first-choice between the sticks for the Mariners?
Roy was once again the brightest performer of the day for the Green and Maroons. The young goalkeeper was trusted ahead of veteran Shilton Pal and he did more than enough to hand Mohun Bagan at least a point from this fixture. His commitment and determination was on a different level. He denied some clear chances from Adjah and kept the champions in the game.
Sankar has also improved his distribution which can keep him ahead of the competition at the club. If he can keep his consistency throughout the season, he can be a vital player for Vicuna.
1. Can this result be a turning point for Calcutta Customs in the league?
De's side have struggled in their first two matches and have only secured a single point in the league so far. Customs may have ended this match in another stalemate, but a 1-1 draw against a superior side like Bagan often gives a boost in confidence which helps these teams to get going.
Customs have a lot of talent in their local players along with foreigners like Stanley, Adjah, John Ampong and Emmanuel Chigozie. Hence, they can easily trump a lot of big sides in the league and De will hope that this result will act like a strong wind to their sails.
Published: Thu Aug 15, 2019 03:24 PM IST