Calcutta: Till the first goal was scored in the 35th minute of Sunday’s CFL Premier Division tie, at the Salt Lake Stadium, the only thing that separated McDowell Mohun Bagan and Police AC were the jersey colours.
True, Bagan had a much better possession than their opponents. But the quality was so unimpressive that it never looked like a contest between one of the giants of Indian football and a complete non-entity.
In the end, Bagan were 4-0 winners on the day, with goals from Eric Muranda (2), Zakeer Mundampara and Ram Malik. But practically speaking, most of the credit should go to coach Karim Bencharifa for the way he is guiding his below-average squad.
Bagan may not be winning every match, but they are not on their knees either.
Zakeer gave Bagan the lead, while Ram doubled it.
The third and the fourth goals, in the 68th and 77th minutes, were about sheer skill from Eric. For his first, Katsumi Yusa did all the dribbling to cut in from the left before releasing the ball for Eric.
The Kenyan’s thunderous shot on the run from an acute angle was perfect. Eric’s second, too, had Katsumi’s assist as his through ball found the striker in the open.
A neat placement from Eric, thereafter, gave Bagan their fourth goal.
As far as Police AC is concerned, they caught the attention only when their ’keeper, Pradip Dutta, took a knock on the head and had to be taken to hospital. It wasn’t serious as Pradip was released soon after.
Mohun Bagan: Shilton Paul, Wahid Sali, Rowilson Rodrigues, Kinshuk Debnath, Nicolau Borges, Katshumi Yusa, Denson Devadas (Pankaj Mula, 85), Zakeer Mundampara (Rajib Ghorui, 79), Ram Malik, Shankar Oraon (Argha Chakraborty, 46), Eric Muranda
Police AC: Pradip Dutta (Jhantu Mondal, 55), Debashish Debnath, Samir Basu, Henry Opara, Abhijit Sarkar, Paresh Sardar (Nilkanta Paria, 86), Goutam Pal, Maidul Mallick, Biswajit Mondal, Bira Oraw (Naren Mallick, 74), Ndudirim Henry
Referee: Subrata Barman
MoM: Eric Muranda