Pune: A Mickey Fernandes own goal gave McDowell Mohun Bagan their first win of the season — a much-needed one — in a Round III match of the I-League, at the Balewadi Sports Complex stadium, here, on Sunday.
What seemed like a clean goal from Bagan’s Nigerian striker Okolie Odafe initially was later confirmed that it was an own goal by Air India’s Fernandes.
The deflection from Micky not only handed host Air India their third straight loss, but the win for Bagan helped them to climb up to the 10th position in the points table.
Both the teams had started their I-League season with a disappointing note, and with three points on the table, Bagan can now heave a sigh of relief.
It was a mixed day for Air India goalkeeper Gagandeep Singh as he saved a couple of good shots. Odafe, who hasn’t been in good form of late, looked to be in a much better shape on Sunday.
In the first half, Odafe dominated and had around three shots on target. However, he seemed unlucky with scoring goals.
In the second half Odafe was in full form as he took shots on almost all the balls he got inside the 30-yard line. One of the Odafe’s shots hit the right side of the goal post that saved Air India from further blushes.
Junior had a chance of an equaliser, but Bagan’s goalkeeper Shilton Paul raced from the goalline and saved the attempt. Junior took the ball ahead but failed to score the goal — shooting the ball wide of the post.
In Shillong, Sporting Clube came from one goal down to defeat hosts Lajong FC 2-1. Ogba Kalu scored the winner after Adil Khaitan equalised for the Goa-based club. For Lajong, Friday Gbeneme struck on the 43rd minute.