| Bhutia hit the winner vs Mohammedan Sporting
Calcutta: Another painful evening at the Salt Lake Stadium ended with the 10-men Mohun Bagan registering a win over city rivals Mohammedan Sporting in the ONGC National Football League on Friday. Bhaichung Bhutia scored the lone goal in the 66th minute. The victory helped Mohun Bagan into a safer zone while a defeat for the black-and-white team pushed them into relegation.
With both sides playing equally boring football, it was Bhutia’s individual brilliance that finally tilted the scales in Mohun Bagan’s favour.
Mohun Bagan were reduced to 10 men in the 40th minute when goalie Shilton Paul in a one-on-one situation outside the box handled the ball and was given the marching order by referee S. Suresh of Tamil Nadu. Coach Bernard Operanzie sent in Sangram Mukherjee to replace Favio Cortez Vidal. The move meant they were weakened in the midfield.
Apart from one red card, one goal and two goalline saves by Mir Farooq Hyder, the most significant incident was the power failure five minutes into the second session. Play was held up for 19 minutes after a few of the lights went off.
The all-important goal came in the 66th minute. Ayan Chowdhury, who had just come in place of Lalkamal Bhowmick a minute back, played a one-two with Bhutia. The resultant powerful right footer from Bhutia found the target.
Mohun Bagan are on 19 points from 14 matches while their opponents are struggling at the bottom half with 11 points from 15 outings.
Mohun Bagan: Shilton Paul, Dulal Biswas, Sanjeev Maria, Mehrajuddin Wadao, D. Ravanan, Douglas da Silva, Favio Cortez Vidal (Sangram Mukherjee 40), Mehtab Hussain, Lalkamal Bhowmick (Ayan Chowdhury 65), Jose Ramirez Barreto, Bhaichung Bhutia.
Mohammedan Sporting: Gopal Das, Mir Farooq Hyder, Eric Bolwe Mputu, Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, Ashim Das (Santa Singh 80), Jatin Singh Bisth, Basudeb Mondal (Raman Vijayan 61), Surojit Roy, Sudhesh Muttath, Kalia Kulothungan (Preston Papai Corporal 57), Ndem Guy Herve.
Referee: S. Suresh (Tamil Nadu).
Man-of-the-Match: Bhaichung Bhutia.