The hosts couldn’t challenge the tempo of the Goan side, as they ran riot in Kolkata.
Mohun Bagan received a rude 0-3 thrashing at the hands of a brilliant Churchill Brothers side in their I-League match on Sunday at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata. The Red Machines went ahead through a goal from Dawda Ceesay, while a quickfire brace from Willis Plaza in the second half helped them attain a dominant victory and end the Mariners unbeaten run. Here are our talking points form the game:
5. Churchill’s intensity in midfield was troubling for Mohun Bagan
Churchill Brothers took the game to Mohun Bagan and showed impressive energy in the middle. The Red Machines’ midfield duo of Khalid Aucho and Richard Costa completely neutralized Bagan’s midfielders. The strong Aucho made multiple crucial tackles and interceptions to frustrate his opponents, while Costa kept on pressing the Mariners with his electric energy.
Israil Gurung was especially clever with his movement and put in a great cross for Plaza’s second. The intelligent positioning and game-reading of Churchill’s players allowed them to dominate the midfield.
4. Sony Norde’s brilliance has been undermined
The Haitian winger struck the post in the first half
Sony Norde started his first game for Mohun Bagan in the I-league and looked dangerous as everon the left wing. The Haitian winger moved with vigour on his flank, making life very uncomfortable for Wayne Vaz. However, Norde’s brilliance wasn’t matched by his underwhelming teammates.
He struck the post with an attempt in the first half and delivered some peach crosses which couldn’t be converted by either Henry Kisekka or Aser Dipanda Dicka. Norde also created a few more decent chances to help spark somewhat of a comeback with a few great crosses in the second half, but was completely letdown by his inefficient strikers.
3. Dawda Ceesay is Churchill’s driving force
Ceesay created all sorts of problem for Arijit Bagui with his movement
The Churchill Brothers captain looked in prime form and lead from the front, stitching together moves from the left wing. Ceesay played in a different position and created all sorts of problems for Arijit Bagui with his movement. He was awarded a relatively easy ball when Dalraj Singh’s mistimed header fell kindly for him to give the Red Machines the lead, but he didn’t let up after that.
Ceesay urged his men forward after taking the lead and moved around vigorously throughout the final third. He created Plaza’s second with an inch-perfect cross, but was robbed of his own brace when his long-ranger struck the post in the last minute. He proved to be Churchill’s main creative force with an emphatic performance at the Salt Lake Stadium.
2. Mohun Bagan’s defensive frailties exposed
Mohun Bagan gave a disaster class in defending against Churchill Brothers, who completely exposed their defensive vulnerabilities with some beautiful, intelligent attacks. The Mariners never looked comfortable containing Churchill’s sleek movement and their defenders completely let the team down. It all started when Dalraj’s horrible clearance fell to Ceesay to give the Red Machines the lead.
Dalraj had a shocker, while Arijit Bagui and Abhishek Ambekar were poor in containing Churchill’s crosses and were made to pay for it. This loss serves as a real eye-opener for Sankarlal Chakraborty, who needs to solve his team’s defensive issues to save them from further embarrassment this season.
1. Willis Plaza comes back to haunt the Mariners
Willis Plaza was Churchill’s man in form having scored a hat-trick against Shillong Lajong and looked hungry to terrorize his former employers’ arch-rivals. Plaza was excellent in the first half with his hold-up play and impressive distributing in creating chances for his side. He even played a part in the opener, laying the ball onto the right, which allowed Lamgoulen Hangshing to put in a dangerous cross that troubled Dalraj.
Plaza turned up the heat in the second half, capitalizing on Bagan’s poor marking to score Churchill’s second through a lucky header. He bettered that with a powerful header to wrap up the game, completing a brace in a Man of the Match performance. He went top of the I-League scorers’ chart and in-turn delighted East Bengal fans by handing a trashing to the Mariners.