ISL 2023-24: Mohun Bagan move to second in table after a 4-2 win over NorthEast United

February 17, 2024
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Kolkata, Feb 17 (IANS) Four different scorers rose to the occasion as Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan Super Giant (MBSG) continued their winning momentum with a 4-2 comeback win over NorthEast United FC at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Saturday night.

The Highlanders had their new striker Tomi Juric score a brace, but poor defending pulled them down as they found the Mariners finding frequent breakthroughs past the Juan Pedro Benali-coached side. Mohun Bagan scored twice in first-half injury time through Liston Colaco (45+1) and Jason Cummings (45+4) after Juric opened the scoring by converting a penalty in the sixth minute. Juric found the net again in the 50th minute to level the score 2-2. But Mohun Bagan Super Giant scored through Dimitrios Petratos (53rd minute) and Sahal Abdul Samad (57th minute) as they claimed three points.

With this win, Mohun Bagan Super Giant moved to 29 points from 14 matches, placed second behind Odisha FC (31), who have played a match more. NothEast United FC are in seventh place in the 12-team table with 16 points from 15 matches.

Juric got past Vishal Kaith twice, once in either halves. His sharpshooting abilities were evident with the comfort with which he converted a spot-kick in the sixth minute to get his team a rather unexpected lead.

In the 50th minute, the forward connected with Nestor Albiach inside the box, with the Spaniard working his way out of a close space to lay out a pass for Juric that the latter deposited into the back of the net. The duo had operated with similar ease in their 3-2 win over East Bengal FC, and that partnership shone through in this crucial away fixture too.

However, the undoubted attacking wealth of the home side overpowered the dynamism with which NorthEast United functioned in phases.

However, Mohun Bagan Super Giant could not be denied on Saturday as Joni Kauko put a delivery past the open spaces in the opposition’s backline for Liston Colaco to shoot home from outside of the box for the equaliser in the 45th minute.

Merely four minutes later, in the added time of the first half, a set piece taken by Dimitrios Petratos was followed with the Mariners outnumbering the Highlanders inside the box. Kauko was in the right place at the right time again, heading a pass in the path of Jason Cummings, which the Australian converted without breaking a sweat.

The second half saw the best of Mohun Bagan Super Giant coming to the fore, with Petratos turning from a creator to a scorer for the third goal soon after Juric’s equaliser. Cummings was at the centre of it all, displaying a brilliant link-up with his striking counterpart in the NorthEast United FC defensive territory. Petratos wasn’t going to miss a chance as easy as that, getting the third goal of his team in the 53rd minute.

Sahal Abdul Samad capped off the proceedings in the 57th minute, getting to the end of a through ball by Kauko and hitting it past Mirshad Michu. Kauko made hay against a haphazard NorthEast United FC backline and the home side’s forwards were just too good to miss out on those opportunities.

Mohun Bagan Super Giant will play next when they face Odisha FC on February 24, whereas NorthEast United FC will be squaring off against FC Goa on February 21.

–IANS

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