Mohun Bagan Super Giant remains alive in the ISL Shield race after defeating Bengaluru 4-0

unnamed   2024 04 15T181430.994
Both Dimitri Petratos and Armando Sadiku caused problems for the Bengaluru backline

In the second fixture of Matchday 22 of the 2023-24 Indian Super League season, Mohun Bagan Super Giant thrashed Bengaluru 4-0 away from home at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium. Hector Yuste, Manvir Singh, Anirudh Thapa, and Armando Sadiku were on the scoresheet for the Mariners.

Bengaluru head coach Gerard Zaragoza made three changes to the team that lost 1-2 against East Bengal. Chinglensana Singh returned after serving his one-match suspension replacing Shankar Sampangiraj, while Shivaldo Singh and Sunil Chhetri replaced Lalremtluanga Fanai and Sivasakthi Narayanan respectively.

On the other hand, Mohun Bagan Super Giant head coach Antonio Lopez Habas also made three changes to his team which defeated Punjab by a 1-0 margin. Amandeep Bhan, Thapa, and Sadiku were handed starts as Asish Rai, Deepak Tangri, and Jason Cummings made way for them.

Although the Mariners were clearly the better team over the full length of the match, as is reflected in the scoreline, it was the Blues who had the first chance. Shivaldo got the ball down the right flank in the 5th minute and did well to beat his marker Amandeep with tricks before launching a precise cross for Chhetri, but the captain could not keep his header on target.

That chance served as a wake-up call for the visitors, who had two early chances soon after Chhetri’s miss. Anwar Ali found himself unmarked for a corner in the 13th minute, and then two minutes later, a cross from Thapa found Petratos. However, both chances ended up getting wasted.

But the pressure did pay off as the Mariners broke the deadlock in the 17th minute. A corner from Petratos saw Yuste making a clever run between Chhetri and Shivaldo before striking a shot. While his initial attempt struck the crossbar, the Spaniard was lucky that the ricochet rolled back to his feet and he made no mistake in finding the back of the net with his second attempt.

The second goal nearly came just 7 minutes later as Petratos almost got his name on the scoresheet. Abhishek Suryavanshi intercepted a ball in the midfield which found Thapa, who then played an excellent pass for Petratos. The Australian’s shot was equally brilliant, although Gurpreet Singh Sandhu came up with an amazing save to keep the scoreline 1-0.

Bengaluru had an excellent chance to equalize in the 38th minute when Chhetri found himself unmarked after receiving a diagonal ball from Shivaldo before Anwar clattered into him. The referee rightfully awarded a penalty but the veteran striker could not grab the opportunity as he struck the crossbar from the spot.

Manvir Singh scored Mohun Bagan Super Giant’s second goal

Mohun Bagan Super Giant had a much better start to the second half and took only six minutes to score the insurance goal. Manvir and Kauko were involved in an excellent one-two where the Finnish midfielder received a pass from the Indian attacker before sending it back on Manvir’s path with a back-heel pass. The latter then beat his marker Naorem Roshan Singh with his pace and rolled the ball past Gurpreet.

The third goal came just three minutes later and Kauko was heavily involved in the attack once again. After receiving a pass from Petratos, the former Esbjerg player struck a powerful shot which was parried away by Gurpreet, but the ball fell back at Petratos’ feet. At the second time of asking, the Australian found Thapa in the middle of the box who calmly slotted the ball past Gurpreet to extend the Mariners’ advantage.

The embarrassing scoreline soon turned into utter humiliation for Bengaluru as they conceded a fourth goal in the 59th minute. This time, Subhasish Bose caught the entire backline of Zaragoza napping with a through ball from the back that landed at Manvir’s feet. The winger then darted down the left flank before placing the ball into Sadiku’s feet, who had the easiest of tasks to tuck the ball home from a handshaking distance.

Bengaluru can consider themselves very lucky that the scoreline remained at 4-0, as it could have been much worse for them. In the 71st minute, substitute Lalrinliana Hnamte found Petratos with a long ball and the former Newcastle Jets striker could have found the back of the net, had it not been a deflection from Roshan.

Then in the 75th minute, another long ball from the midfield once again found Petratos totally unmarked. This time, he decided to show his selfless nature by rolling it for Sadiku, who launched a venomous shot but could only hit the crossbar.

The fifth goal almost arrived in the 92nd minute when yet another counter-attack saw Petratos splitting the Blues’ defense open. He chose to find his Aussie teammate Cummings with a cross, but the latter could not keep his header on target. For Bengaluru, substitute Harsh Patre had a couple of attempts, but neither looked likely to trouble the Mariners.

With this win, Mohun Bagan Super Giant remains 2nd on the points table with 45 points from 21 matches, but more importantly, they are still alive in the race for the League Winners’ Shield. To win the silverware, the Mariners will have to trounce Mumbai City on Monday. On the other hand, Bengaluru finished their season in the 10th position with just 22 points from 22 games.