Kolkata: Gokulam FC became the second minnows after Chennai City to beat Mohun Bagan at home. This was also Bagan’s third home defeat, the only three they have lost this season.
Strangely, both Gokulam and Chennai City continue to linger at the relegation zones, overstepping each other with every win. This time it was the Malabarians who after inflicting a 2-1 defeat on the Mariners move up to ninth, on 13 points after 13 games.
Bagan after playing a game more are on fourth, with 21 points and out of the title contender’s list. But what would have hurt them more is the 15 points they lost out of a possible 27 at home due to repetitive draws — they played a staggering three consecutive draws at home.
The match had sprung to life in the 77th minute until which both the teams looked content with sleep-walking all afternoon. However when they scored, they did within minutes of each other. Gokulam midfielder Mudde Musa’s long ball from his own-half was chested down by Henry Kisekka who found Mahmood Alajmi. The Bahrain player ran across the inches of space between Bagan defender Eze Kingsley and Ricky Lallawmawma before slotting it home.
Bagan’s reply was Dipanda Dicka’s header just a minute later, who scored after Shilton D’Silva’s cross was send into his path by substitue Bimal Magar. The Nepalese national was brought on for a subdued Akram Moghrabi after the latter had squanderd two sitters, in the space of five minutes.
Gokulam didn’t seem to be content with a draw unlike Bagan who were lackluster all evening. The visitors were forced to defend with the Mairners keeping more of the ball, but they scored with what was their only fourth shot on target. It was in the 89th minute after Musa controlled a throw before firing it to Kisekka, who banged home from a goal-melee after turning his body off Kingsley.
Bagan however would complain that they were deprived of a clear penalty after Provat Lakra barged into SK Faiaz in the 34th minute. A handful 4000 supporters screamed in delight sensing a spot-kick when Lakra, not able to keep up pace with the Bagan left-wing forced him off but referee Palmson Moses Raj thought otherwise.
Moghrabi later had two golden opportunities in the second-half, one from a Cameron Watson through ball that he placed wide while the other was jelly for a striker after Arijit Bagui as usual beat Lakra before curling in a low-cost for the unmarked Lebanese, who fluffed to put it in.
The goals had come after sometime but Moghrabi had been subbed-off minutes earlier, after looking pale shadow of the player he was in his debut match — a 2-0 Kolkata derby win over East Bengal.