The Mariners have climbed back to the top of the table after a confident performance.
Mohun Bagan continued their winning streak in the Calcutta Football League with a dominant 5-0 win over West Bengal Police at the Mohun Bagan ground earlier today. Dipanda Dicka who was judged as the man of the match scored a hattrick along with goals from PM Britto and Henry Kisekka.
Shankarlal Chakraborty had vital absentees in the starting lineup as both Eze Kingsley and Arijit Bagui were suspended for picking up multiple bookings in previous matches. Amey Ranawade and Gurjinder Singh were given the nod in their place.
The match had a blistering start as Mohun Bagan were handed the lead at the 2nd-minute mark when Ranawade’s long throw-in reached Dipanda Dicka who broke the offside trap and ran into acres of space left by the Police defenders ending the move with a calm finish past the goalkeeper.
The Mariners needed this victory and on top of that, they were also looking to minimise the goal difference between them and arch-rivals East Bengal. The Police defenders were keeping a high backline right from the start and the Mariners were looking to capitalise on the empty space by making forward runs.
Mohun Bagan could have extended their lead when Abhishek Ambekar’s cross from the left flank found Britto, but the former Churchill Brothers winger could not make a proper connection in front of goal. The ball was not cleared properly by the Police defenders as it reached Henry Kisekka, his strike was cleared off the line.
The Mariners kept on putting pressure on the Police backline as another chance came in a flash when Sourav Das found himself in space as he dodged past multiple defenders but his shot was again superbly cleared off the line by a Police defender. Minutes later Kisekka’s excellent freekick was kept out by Police goalkeeper Soumava Ghosh.
The Green and Maroons were desperate to increase the lead and they were successful at the 33rd minute when Shilton D’Silva‘s defence-splitting lob pass from midfielder found Britto in space who showcased excellent composure and ball control as he calmly slotted the ball past the Police custodian.
Shankarlal’s men kept pushing the Police defence as the Mariners were looking to score as many possible against the minnows. West Bengal Police also had a rare opportunity to score when they got a corner right at the end of the first half. The corner led to a great chance as defender Shaikh Shahrukh’s thundering header was kept out by veteran goalkeeper Shilton Paul. The first half ended in a well deserved 2-0 lead for Mohun Bagan
In the second half, Shankarlal brought in the more experienced Mehtab Hossain in place of Shilton D’Silva as the change bore fruit for the Mariners. Mehtab who is known for his set pieces, took charge of the corner as his splendid delivery found Dicka in the box as the Nigerian emphatically headed the ball in, extending the lead for the Mariners in the 52nd minute.
Circumstances went from bad to worse for West Bengal Police when a collision between Pintu Mahata and Shaikh Shahrukh resulted in a nasty affair as the latter stamped on Mahata’s leg who was lying down on the ground. The fans were erratic at the incident as the referee rightfully gave marching orders to the Police defender.
Henry Kisekka finally redeemed himself after missing a horde of chances in front of goal. The Ugandan international finally found his way past the goalkeeper right at the injury time in the second half.
Just when the Police defenders thought that they have seen enough of Dipanda Dicka, the Nigerian came up with the final nail in their coffin, completing his hattrick via a pinpoint cross from strike partner Henry. The Mariners who were dominant throughout the match won by a handsome 5-0 margin and have left some ground to cover for rivals East Bengal.