Mohun Bagan Super Giant ends Goa’s invincible run with a 1-0 triumph

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Petratos stood tall with another clutch strike

In an epic clash between the two heavyweight Indian Super League sides, Mohun Bagan Super Giant marched victorious with an edging 1-0 win over Goa at the Fatorda Stadium. 

The Aussie striker Dimitrios Petratos’ 74th-minute winning strike made all the difference for the Mariners as they claimed all three points. It also marked the end of the invincible run of Gaurs in the 2023-24 season as they remained unbeaten for a record 12 games. 

MBSG gaffer Antonio Lopez Habas handed the homegrown young defender Dippendu Biswas his maiden start in the Maroon and Green colors. Asish Rai, Deepak Tangri, and Armando Sadiku made a return to the starting XI after being rested for their recent Hyderabad clash with Glan Martins, Abhishek Suryavanshi, Amandeep Bhan, and Jason Cummings vacating their spots.

Meanwhile, Manolo Marquez also came up with two vital changes from the lineup that drew 1-1 against the table-toppers Odisha. Rowllin Borges surprisingly found himself on the bench with Raynier Fernandes handed a rare start while Mohammad Yasir was replaced by Boris Singh Thangjam. 

The home side kick-started the action at Fatorda on an aggressive note in order to find an early breakthrough. It almost led the Gaurs to break the deadlock in the fifth minute when Carlos Martinez’s headed attempt hit the crossbar. 

This aggressive start gave momentum to the Margao-based outfit as they started dominating the Mariners confidently in the initial phase of the play. The Goan skipper Brandon Fernandes who played a crucial role in the earlier move proceeded to assist Odei Onaindia in another attack and the Spaniard even found the net this time but it was eventually ruled offside by the referee. 

In the 21st minute, Arshdeep Singh blatantly turned down the long-range strike from Dimitri Petratos which stood as the best first-half effort made by the visitors. The Mariners took their time to settle down and gradually started finding spaces in the Goan guard to knit the progressive moves. However, all of their attempts resulted in an utter failure in the final third owing to plenty of miss-passes executed by the Mariners. 

The veteran Spanish striker Martinez brought the Goan fans to the edges of their seats right after the drinks break after his diligent effort missed the target from the inches. 

The Mariners successfully invaded the Fatorda!

A slow pace and failure of both teams to find the breakthrough strike continued in the initial phase of the second half as well. The local star Borges was finally taken off the bench in place of Raynier as the first change of the night.  

Habas responded to the changes from the opposition camp with a double substitution and brought Liston Colaco and Suryavanshi a couple of minutes later. The 25-year-old domestic starlet Liston made an instant impression after arriving on the battlefield as the aftermath impact was quite evident. 

In the 74th minute, Goan guardian Arshdeep committed a huge mistake by coming out of the box for a clearance that eventually cost them all three points. The cleared ball directly reached Petratos who did not make any mistake in pulling the trigger and quickly dispatched it in the back of the net. Carl McHugh attempted to chase the ball but it was way out of his reach as the Australian forward’s 17th ISL goal was inevitable. 

Despite getting disheartened by the blunder, Gaurs kept their hunt for the equalizer and the newly arrived Brison Fernandes almost pulled it off in the 85th minute. The off-target shot by the local lad was the final resilient attempt made by the home team as the full-time whistle was blown on the final scoreline of 1-0. 

This losing outcome has ousted Goa’s attempt to recapture the table-toppers crown from the Juggernauts. Meanwhile, MBSG was successful in getting closer to the second position as the deficit between them and Goa has reduced to only 2 points now. 

After two consecutive triumphs, Habas’ boys will now return to their fortress to host NorthEast United this Saturday. On the other hand, Goa’s Fatorda stay will extend for another week as they will clash against the Highlanders in the upcoming matchday at home on Wednesday.