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Sabeeth saves Bagan’s day

Calcutta: Slippery ground conditions had almost resulted in another slip for McDowell Mohun Bagan in the Airtel I-League before C.S. Sabeeth came to their rescue.

Coming in as a substitute at the start of the second session, Sabeeth’s 80th minute equaliser helped Bagan draw 1-1 against Mumbai FC in Wednesday’s match, at the Kalyani Stadium.

After a positive outing against United SC in their previous game, Bagan were back to being irritatingly sloppy against the in-form Mumbai FC who went into this game with well-earned victories over East Bengal and Pune FC.

And coach Khalid Jamil’s men started the game from where they had left off against Pune FC, latching on to an early opportunity with Mohammed Rafi giving them the lead in the 10th minute.

Nicholas Rodrigues’ corner was headed by Anwar Ali towards Rafi, who did the needful with a side-volley. It was a clear case of defensive lapse as Bagan footballers just allowed Rafi to take the side-volley from inside the six-yard box.

The wet conditions — due to excess watering — also took a toll on players of either team, with Bagan suffering more.

On quite a few occasions in both halves, their players slipped and fell inside the goal-mouth area while aiming for the target. Interestingly, the watering had been done only as per the Bagan team management’s instructions.

Keeping ground conditions apart, Bagan could have cleaned up an ultra-defensive Mumbai FC after the breather had their forward line shown better application. Christopher Chizoba, who was fascinating the other day, was a stark contrast, unable to provide any support whatsoever to Okolie Odafe.

Sabeeth made sure he saved the blushes when he converted Denson Devadas’ through with a left-footer after evading Haroon Amiri and goalkeeper Nidhin Lal.