Jason Cummings’ brace fires Mohun Bagan SG to a 2-1 win over Maziya

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Cummings scored a brace as Mohun Bagan SG consolidated their lead atop AFC Cup Group D

Mohun Bagan Super Giant consolidated their lead at the top of their AFC Cup group with a 2-1 win over Maziya on Monday at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Kirirangan in Kolkata. Jason Cummings scored a brace, including a late winner in the added time of the second half to seal all three points after a resolute display from the visitors. 

Juan Ferrando made four changes to the side that prevailed 1-0 over Bengaluru on Wednesday replacing the quartet of Subhasish Bose, Manvir Singh, Anirudh Thapa, and Sahal Abdul Samad with Brendan Hamill, Asish Rai, Glan Martins, and Armando Sadiku.

It was a good start for the hosts who dominated possession early on, but the Maziya defense remained resolute. However, the visitors could have taken the lead against the run of play in the 22nd minute when Brandon Hamill’s backpass was misread by Vishal Kaith and the ball crept under the feet of the goalkeeper, but went out of play, to spare his blushes. 

Shortly afterwards Kaith was alert to deny Maziya captain, Hamza Mohamed, the latter’s attempt at goal was saved by the Indian to keep the score 0-0. 

In the 28th minute, Cummings broke the deadlock as he received a pass from Hugo Boumous. The Australian let fly from outside the box and his effort sailed in off the post, giving the hosts an early lead. 

Wada threatened Ferrando’s men at the other end but the Japanese international’s shot was well saved by Kaith at his near post. In the 40th minute, the Mariners received a massive chance to double their lead as Armando was brought down inside the box by Branimir Jocic, there wasn’t too much contact but the referee awarded the penalty. 

The hosts tried to be too creative, Cummings gave a pass to Petratos but Sebastijan Antic cleared the danger and it was a huge let-off for Milomir Šešlija’s men. MBSG was punished at the other end for their profligacy, as Tomoki Wada fired home the equaliser in the 45th minute firing a screamer from the edge of the box to bring his side back at level terms and the first half ended at 1-1. 

Hugo Boumous had another excellent game, as he registered the assist for MBSG’s opener

After the restart, the hosts received another chance to add to the scoreline, Obeng Regan’s sloppy back pass allowed Petratos to take a crack at goal but Shareef made a solid save, the rebound fell to Cummings but the Maziya goalie refused to be beaten.

In the 52nd minute, Ferrando sent on Mannvir who replaced Rai on the right. Shortly after the hour mark, Sahal and Subhashish replaced Petratos and Anwar Ali. 

In the 68th minute, Sahal Abdul Samad delivered a cross from the left flank, Hamill got his head to it but blazed it over. Minutes later, there was a wonderfully crafted move as Sahal and Colaco exchanged passes, the latter fed Sadiku but the forward’s attempt to cross was blocked well by Antic. 

Shareef again came to his side’s rescue in the 79th minute, Manvir launched a left-footed belter from outside the box but the goalie flew to his left and made a world-class save. 

Minutes later, Sadiku unlocked the opposition defense with a brilliant through pass to send Sahal through on goal, the Indian tried to find Cummings with his cutback seeing Shareef come out of his line, but the Maziya defenders managed to deal with the danger. 

Liston then won the ball near the Maziya box and unleashed an excellent low shot but once again Shareef was there to keep it out.

In the second minute of added time, Cummings sealed all three points as he finally managed to beat Shareef, finding space through the legs of the Maziya goalie after the Australian was sent through on goal by a perfectly weighted through pass from Sahal and Cummings scored his seventh goal in only ten appearances across all competitions.

The Mariners nearly added another in the last minute of added time, as Colaco sprinted into the opposition box, beating a couple of defenders with his speed, he fed Sahal who hit the byline before cutting back inside but his shot was blocked yet again by a combination of Maziya defenders. 

The Kolkata giants held on for the win and made it nine wins in all competitions courtesy of a brace from Cummings. The win keeps the Mariners top of their group, but they now have clear daylight of three points between themselves and other sides in Group D.Earlier in the evening, Bashundhara Kings defeated Odisha 3-2 in the other Group D match to open their account in the tournament.