Mohun Bagan Super Giant humbles NorthEast United 4-2

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Dimitrios Petratos celebrates after scoring for Mohun Bagan Super Giant

Mohun Bagan Super Giant climbed to the second spot in the 2023-24 Indian Super League points table after defeating NorthEast United 4-2 at the Yuva Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata. 

Liston Colaco, Jason Cummings, Dimitrios Petratos, and Sahal Abdul Samad were the goalscorers for the Mariners while Tomi Juric scored a brace for the Highlanders in the contest. 

Mohun Bagan head coach Antonio Lopez Habas made four changes to the side that defeated Goa 1-0 in their previous fixture. Abhishek Suryavanshi started in the defensive midfield position replacing Deepak Tangri. Liston Colaco and Joni Kauko replaced Anirudh Thapa and Asish Rai. Jason Cummings started in place of Armando Sadiku as the Mariners lined up in a 3-1-4-2 formation.  

NorthEast United coach Juan Pedro Benali, on the other hand, fielded an unchanged side that beat East Bengal 3-2.

The away side got a golden opportunity in the fourth minute when left-back Buanthanglun Samte made a lung-bursting run through the left flank and passed the ball towards Jithin MS on the wide side of the pitch. Jithin tried to make a pass towards the middle but Dippendu Biswas handled the ball inside the box while trying to make a sliding challenge. 

MBSG players argued with the referee for two minutes saying that it was not intentional but the referee didn’t listen to them. Tomi Juric stepped up to take the penalty and smashed it hard and low past Vishal Kaith who guessed it correctly. 

In the 21st minute, Samte took a corner kick towards the box which evaded everyone and reached the head of Michel Zabaco. The Spaniard headed it upwards but Mohammed Ali Bemammer capitalized on the rebound to get his head to it. However, his towering shot thudded the sidebar as NorthEast United kept on knocking on the door for their second goal. 

NorthEast United tried to burst through the right flank on a counter-attack but Dippendu made up for his previous error by clearing the ball off Jithin’s foot in the 27th minute. The home side’s first chance in the game came in the 30th minute when Dimitri Petratos curled a cross towards the box from the left flank and Joni Kauko towered above his marker Asheer Akhtar. However, the Finnish international’s header sailed narrowly above the crossbar. 

In the 33rd minute, Redeem Tlang set up Juric on a counter-attack towards the right flank and the latter made a square pass across the face of the goal towards Jithin. However, Jithin was a bit late to reach there with the goal gaping at him from a point-blank range. 

Suryavanshi won the ball in the middle of the park in the 34th minute and after a couple of passes, Manvir Singh found the ball at his feet and inside the circle. He cut back the ball towards Jason Cummings but the Australian’s feeble attempt didn’t trouble Mirshad Michu a bit. 

The Mariners grew into the game and nearly equalized the proceedings in the 37th minute when Liston Colaco aimed for glory from a distance. Petratos stepped up to take a free-kick and Bemammer cleared it away with his head. The rebound fell only towards Colaco whose dipping shot from the edge of the box was palmed away by Mirshad. 

Colaco finally scored the equalizer in the first minute of added time sending the home fans into a frenzy. Sahal Abdul Samad made a quick pass towards Kauko who laid it off towards an unmarked Colaco at the edge of the box. Spotting the keeper out of his line, the Indian international blasted the ball into the net. 

In the fourth minute of added time in the first half, Petratos curled his free-kick towards the box and Hector Yuste deflected it towards the edge of the box with his head. Kauko controlled the ball nicely and cut it back towards the middle where Cummings tapped it home to give Mohun Bagan the lead. 

Sahal Abdul Samad scored his maiden ISL goal for Mohun Bagan Super Giant

NorthEast United equalized at the start of the second half when Redeem Tlang’s cross from the right flank found Nestor Albiach at the edge of the box who nodded it towards Tomi Juric inside the box. Juric outmuscled Dippendu Biswas and smashed the ball into the roof of the net to silence the Kolkata crowd in the 50th minute. 

However, the joy lasted only three minutes as MBSG regained the lead. Liston Colaco played a pass towards Cummings who split the NorthEast United defense with his pass towards Petratos. Petratos had only the goalkeeper to beat and he made no mistake in bulging the net. 

In the 57th minute, Kauko made a through pass past the entire NorthEast United defense as it found Sahal Abdul Samad unmarked on the left flank. Dinesh Singh tried to make his way back but Sahal’s venomous shot rolled the ball into the net. 

MBSG almost made it 5-2 two minutes later when Manvir Singh cut past his marker Macarton Nickson in the right flank and took a shot from a distance. The shot took a lucky deflection from Petratos but Mirshad changed his trajectory in the middle of his dive to produce a save. 

In the 86th  minute, Manvir lobbed a pass towards Petratos who tried to volley the ball from outside the box but it rolled inches wide of the post. The referee gave seven minutes of added time but NorthEast United were unable to score a consolation goal. 

With 29 points from 14 matches, Mohun Bagan Super Giant have a glorious chance to go past Odisha who sit at the top of the table as they have a game in hand. The two sides will lock horns with each other on Saturday at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar and a win would take the Mariners one point above them with a game in hand. 

NorthEast United is in the seventh position in the league standings with 16 points from 15 matches and has little time to regroup as they travel to Goa to take on the third-placed side on Wednesday.