Mohun Bagan go down fighting to East Bengal

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Ludhiana, Sept 11 (UNI) Twelve-time champions Mohun Bagan made their exit, having lost to Kingfisher East Bengal by 2-3 in a thrilling and exciting semi-final match in the 29 Hero Cycles Federation Cup Football Tournament being played at the floodlit Guru Nanak Stadium here tonight.

Scorers: Kingfisher East Bengal: Irungban Surkumar Singh (12th), Dipender Biswas (35th), Ashim Biswas (47th). Mohun Bagan: Baichung Bhutia (12th) and Jose Ramirez Barreto (71st).

Two big guns boomed tonight providing enough entertainment to the spectators as they dished out classic football. In the first nine minutes, Kingfisher East Bengal lauched two dangerous attack but some how Mohun Bagan goal survived. In the fifth minute, Jayanta Sen sent a long ball for Ashim Biswas. Mohun Bagan custodian was alert.

He covered the angle well while making a brilliant sliding tackle.

Four minutes later Ashim Biswas had a chance again to score.

However, his header off a cross from Saumik Dey from left went wide.

Mohun Bagan launched their first attack in the 11th minute. In an action-packed move, James Lukram Singh chipped the ball into the box. Bagan captain Baichung Bhutia who had missed the last match as he was indisposed, and Saumik Dey fell, Baichung demanded spot kick in vain.

Bhutia succeeded in giving his team the lead in the next minute.

Kingfisher East Bengal goalkeeper Subrata Paul, while trying to thwart a shot of Jose Ramirez Barreto from the left flank, the ball slipped out of his hands and Baichung capitalised on the mistake.

In an effort to neutralise the lead Kingfisher East Bengal threatened the Bagan goal in the 18th minute.Syed Rahim Nabi crossed the ball into the centre. Bagan defender Peter Odafe tried to clear it high. The ball travelled to Ashim Biswas who headed it to Syed Rahim Nabi. Bagan goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee collected the ball in a smooth action.

Down by a goal, East Bengal neutralised the lead in the 25th minute through Irungban Surkumar Singh. Jayanta Sen gave a pass to Syed Rahim Nabi who gave it to unmarked Irungban Surkumar Singh who shot across the goalmouth saw Bagan goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee could nothing.

Mohun Bagan's Dharamjit Singh initiated a good move from the left.

After dribbling past a couple of East Bengal players crossed the ball into the box. Goalkeeper Subrata Paul collected the ball before any damage could be done by Bagan captain Baichung Bhutia in the 32nd minute.

In a counter attack, East Bengal shot ahead in the 35th minute through substitute Dipendu Biswas who exchanged passes with Syed Rahim Nabi before finally taking the aim.His shot went in via deflection from Peter Odafe.

A bicyle kick by East Bengal's Ashim Biswas off a pass from Syed Rahim Nabi went over in the 38th minute. In the very next minute, Bagan keeper Sangram Mukherjee made a good save after a shot by Maherajuddin Wadoo from the right flank.

Two minutes after resumpiton after getting a long pass from the right, Ashim Bishwas beat Peter Odafe and Rauf Sher Khan before shooting past Bagan keeper Sangram Mukherjee.

Mohun Bagan captain tried with a good shot which Majekodunmi Bolaji blocked and keeper Subrata Paul collected it in the 65th minute. In the next minute Dharamjit Singh sent the ball high over the bar. Mohun Bagan were able to score their second goal in the 71st minute through Jose Ramirez Barreto whose perfect header beat charging East Bengal custodian Subrata Paul.

Mohun Bagan mounted relentless pressure and in the 86th minute, Baichung Bhutia passed the ball to Lalawmpuia whose shot was partially cleared by keeper Subrata Paul. Then Lal Kamal Bhowmick's shot failed to find the object.

With only few second left, Baichung Bhutia was frustrated by East Bengal goalkeeper Subrata Paul who made a brilliant save.

Teams: Kingfisher East Bengal: Subrata Paul, Irungban Surkumar Singh, Majekodunmi Bolaji, M Suresh, Saumik Dey, Syed Rahim Nabi, Maherajuddin Wadoo (84th, Abdul Samad) , Jayanta Sen, Debabrata Roy (16th, Dipendu Biswas), Ashim Biswas, Alvito D'Cunha.

Mohun Bagan Athletic Club: Sangram Mukherjee, Habibur Rehman Mondal, Peter Odafe, Sanjeev Kumar Maria, Rauf Sher Khan (56th P C Lalawmpuia), James Lukram Singh, Mohammed Gafari, Suman Datta (43rd, Lal Kamal Bhowmick), Dharamjit Singh, Jose Ramirez Barreto, Baichung Bhutia.

Referee: K Sankar (Tamil Nadu).

Assistant Referees: Dinesh Nair (Gujarat) and Francisco Fernandes (Goa).

UNI

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