| Jose Ramirez Barreto after scoring the matchwinner on Thursday. Picture by Pradip Sanyal
Calcutta: Bhratri Sangha aren’t the team to beat in this year’s Calcutta Football League’s Super Division. But they are surely a team to learn from. If short on talent, Sishir Ghosh’s wards make up with a great deal of courage and attrition.
That Mohun Bagan were able to manage just a one-goal win Thursday — notwithstanding the many misses — is a commentary on this. The goal came in the 45th minute of the match, Jose Ramirez Barreto making up for messing up a similar situation earlier in the match.
Ashim Biswas was introduced in the 36th minute, but he did not make much of a difference. Maybe this just wasn’t his day, or maybe it’s this old knee injury that is rearing its head — the reason why coach Aloke Mukherjee thought it would be wise to try and keep him on the bench as much as possible.
Also sadly missing from the Bagan halfline was that old flair from Basudeb Mondal. Concern is that this might just be his last star team season. Biswas replaced Mondal and played a little withdrawn, till Barreto left after a minor first-half injury.
In the 15th minute Barreto’s attempt from close, off a Palash Karmakar tap was saved almost on the goalline by Bhratri’s Seikh Sikandar. Three minutes later, off a Barreto-Marcos Parreira exchange, Hardeep Gill took over 30 yards off, and his fine powerful volley was as brilliantly saved by Bhratri goalkeeper Binod Mullick.
Gill does make a difference in the half line, but Thursday the overall set-up looked pretty ruffled. There was a great deal misdirected energy and mispasses were the order of the day as were the long balls.
In the 43rd minute Barreto picked up the ball at the top of the Bhratri defensive third and ran unchallenged, finding himself with only the goalkeeper to beat and he faltered.
That he made up for two minutes later when he reached the top of the box off a Marcos tap. Goalkeeper Mullick dived, but the Brazilian chipped it over him and then followed through for a fine volley into the netting.
The second half was a story of misses, twice by Marcos then by Biswas and there were more last-minute saves and more mispasses. Football wasn’t at its best, but what worries is that maybe there is probably a motivation problem in Bagan.
Mohun Bagan: Imran Khan, Palash Karmakar, Insan Ali, Debkumar Sashmal, Babun Kar, Rennedy Singh, Basudeb Mondal (Ashim Biswas, 36), Hardeep Gill, Mehtab Hossain, Jose Ramirez Barreto (Rocus Lemere, 46), Marcos Parreira.
Bhratri Sangha: Binod Mullick, Subhas Das (Abhijit Dalal, 72), Osto Karar, Amritalal Biswas, Seikh Sikandar, Swapan Munda (Manoharan, 60), Debu Pradhan, Gautam Naha (Manoj Singh, 79), Ranjan Sarkar, Ohidul Islam, Sanjib Sashmal.
Referee: Ashis Das.
Dutta taken ill
Ever-Ready coach Amal Dutta was admitted to a city nursing home late Wednesday after complaining of chest pain. A nursing home spokesman, when contacted late Thursday night, however, said his condition “was stable now”.
Dutta even chalked out Ever-Ready’s strategies for the Super Division match against Eastern Railway, in which his club won 2-1 at Howrah Stadium. Eugene Gray struck twice while Somnath Pramanik pulled one back for Eastern Railway.
At the East Bengal ground, CPT rode goals from Sujit Dey and Pradip Indu to a 2-0 victory over Wari AC.