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Bagan bungle again
- i-League stuttering green and maroon brigade go down 1-2 to JCT

Calcutta: Chirag United Monday last and JCT on Thursday. Mohun Bagan’s I-League campaign has absolutely got off on the wrong foot. A 10-man Bagan crashed to their second consecutive defeat at the Salt Lake Stadium, going down 1-2 to the team from Phagwara.

Although the city giants had a couple of opportunities to score in the first half, it was only in the second when the drama began and the match came alive. There were eight yellow cards with Deepak Mondal’s double booking earning him a red.

After a goalless first-half, JCT’s lone foreign player, the Nigerian Penn Orji, slammed the ball into the Bagan net in the very first minute after the change of ends for the visitors to go 1-0 up.

Sakatar Singh failed to control Balwant Singh’s pass, Bagan’s Zenith Genius failed to clear it and the ball fell to Penn whose shot proved too good for Bagan goalkeeper Shilton Paul.

Then it was Baljit Singh Sahni’s turn to show what he can do. In the 56th minute, the first striker to have scored a hattrick in this season’s I-League, blocked off Bagan defender Rakesh Masih before slotting the ball home.

JCT, fresh from their victory over Lajong FC in their league opener, could have gone 3-0 up but substitute Jaswinder Singh dithered when he got the chance in the 80th minute.

Looking for a way back into the game, Bagan were rejuvenated by Branco Cardozo’s stunning strike from a Snehasish Chakraborty pass in the 83rd minute. The Goan striker’s swerving right footer from the left flank went into the far post and it seemed Bagan, after all, had a different idea.

However, injuries hurt both teams. Bagan left-back Mohanraj took a Baldeep Singh kick to his chest in the 64th minute.

The defender collapsed near the box and began vomiting. He had to be taken off the field in an ambulance. He is in a stable condition but has been kept under observation.

In the 71st minute, JCT’s Sakatar collided with Zenith and both had to get their heads bandaged.

An unprecedented 10 minutes were added on and, in its very first minute, Bagan captain Deepak Mondal was shown his second yellow card for tackling Balwant. In the 97th minute Bagan were awarded a free-kick from a promising position, but Marcos Pereira failed to make it count.

TEAMS

JCT: Karanjit Singh, Jaspal Singh, Sunil Kumar, Gurwinder Singh, Daljit Singh, Baldeep Singh, Jagpreet Singh, Penn Orji, Sakatar Singh (Jaswinder Singh, 79’), Baljit Singh Sahini (Pawan Kumar, 88’), Balwant Singh

Mohun Bagan: Shilton Paul, Zenith Genius, Deepak Mondal, Rakesh Masih, N. Mohanraj (Subha Kumar, 69), James Singh, Marcos Pereira, Micky Fernandez (Suraj Mondal, 58’), Ishfaq Ahmed (Snehasish Chakraborty, 78’) Branco Cardozo, Edeh Chidi

Referee: A. Rowan

MoM: Penn Orji

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