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Nabi wins it for Bagan

Calcutta: Syed Rahim Nabi, who played as a striker after a long time, was on target as Mohun Bagan defeated Calcutta Port Trust 1-0 in a CFL Premier Division match, at the Salt Lake Stadium, here, on Tuesday.

Nabi, who started a striker at the Mohammedan Sporting after passing out from Tata Football Academy in 2002, had to change position once he joined East Bengal. During his seven-year stay at the red and gold brigade and now with Bagan, Nabi hardly got a chance to play as a striker.

And on Tuesday when he got a chance to play upfront, Nabi did not want to let go the opportunity. In the 24th minute, Nabi met Manish Bharghav’s centre from the right with a perfect header which beat Port Trust goalkeeper Maidul Islam.

Mohun Bagan, who had forfeited the first two games, have now won three matches in a row. They have consolidated their position as one of the four teams to qualify for the final round (Super Nine Stage) of the competition from their group. With nine points, the green and maroons are now joint fourth with Port Trust who have played two games more.

Karim Bencharifa was not in the dug-out and his assistant Mridul Banerjee was given the chance to manage the side for the last time before handing over the reins to the Moroccan.

Karim was in the VIP enclosure taking a bird’s-eye view of the proceedings.

The first-team players like Okolie Odafe was rested keeping in mind Bagan’s three away matches in I-League and Banerjee decided to test the reserve strength.