| BHUTIA: Back in business
Margao: Mohun Bagan have had a dreadful run this season, but coach Subrata Bhattacharya maintained right through that a full strength team will change things around.
He finally got a full team (may be a bit too late), and things really seemed to change as they beat Salgaocar 1-0 in their 14th National Football League match Tuesday.
Indian captain Bhaichung Bhutia celebrated his return with a 57th minute strike, as the Calcutta giants notched up a victory againt a side which had dented their pride in their own backyard.
The win placed Bagan in the second spot in the ladder, nine adrift arch-rivals East Bengal on 34 points.
The goal was a product of a superb combination-play between Basudeb Mondal, Rennedy Singh and Bhutia. Basudeb sent a diagonal pass to Rennedy on the left whose measured cross found Bhaichung inside the box and the mercurial striker made no mistake putting it in.
Bagan, who were pushed into their own half in the second session with Salgaocar searching for an equaliser, had a chance to increase the lead in the dying minutes. Rennedy set up a ball for an unmarked Sunil Chettri, but the latter’s shot struck the cross-bar. The Goa outfit had the better share of exchanges, but they were let down by some poor finishing.
Bagan, who adopted the wait-and-watch policy in the first session, came close to scoring in the 15th minute off.
JCT beat Mahindra
In another NFL match in Mumbai, JCT scored once in each half to beat local outfit Mahindra United 2-1. JCT have 21 points from 14 games while Mahindra are struggling on 13 from 14.
Mahindra took the lead in the 26th minute through Samson Aby Mongba. Hardeep Singh and K. Yeboah struck for JCT. (PTI)