I-League: Mohan Bagan Defeat Minerva Punjab

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Kolkata: Mohun Bagan returned to winning ways under new coach Khalid Jamil as they brushed aside defending champions Minerva Punjab FC 2-0 in an I-League encounter at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Wednesday.

Omar El Hussieny scored the opening goal from the spot (30th) with Aser Dipanda (69th) doubling the tally in the second period. Mohun Bagan now have 18 points from 12 matches and are placed sixth while Minerva are behind them having 13 points in their kitty from 12 outings.

Sony Norde once again stole the limelight for Bagan as he was the livewire for the Mariners in the attacking third. Khalid Jamil, who took over from Sankarlal Chakraborty, made as many as five changes to the side from their defeat against Real Kashmir FC.

Dalraj Singh and Gurjinder Kumar made their way back into a four-man backline. Former Mumbai FC player Darren Caldeira started in place of Sourav Das in midfield.

Khiangte was dropped from the matchday squad and Azharuddin Mallick started on the left flank. Ugandan striker Henry Kisekka also found himself relegated to the bench as Jamil preferred Aser Dipanda up front.

Minerva Punjab also ringed in changes after their 2-0 loss to Churchill Brothers. Prabhjot Singh, Akshdeep Singh, Thoiba Singh and Yu Kuboki made their way into the starting line-up.
Norde started on the right but soon reverted to his usual position on the left flank as the hosts bossed the first half. At the half hour mark, Lancine Toure brought down Dipanda inside the box and referee Ramaswamy Srikrishna pointed to the spot straightaway.

Omar Elhussieny stepped up and calmly slotted into the net, sending visiting goalkeeper Bhaskar Roy in the wrong direction. After the change of ends, the story was the same as Mohun Bagan continued to dominate the proceedings.

A sublime through ball from Norde set up Dipanda for Bagan’s second goal in the 69th minute. The Cameroonian striker latched on to the ball and got the better of the keeper from a one-on-one situation to score his fifth goal of the campaign.