Francisco Gonzalez’s brace on either side of half-Time and a goal each from VP Suhair and Subha Ghosh helped Mohun Bagan win 4-0 and paper over deficiencies that looked glaring against Churchill Brothers on Sunday.
It took three rounds for Mohun Bagan to notch up their first win of the 2019-20 I-League and the ease with which it came on Wednesday also showed how much work Manipur’s TRAU (Tiddim Road Athletic Union) need to do in their first season. Francisco Gonzalez’s brace on either side of half-time and a goal each from VP Suhair and Subha Ghosh helped Mohun Bagan win 4-0 and paper over deficiencies that looked glaring against Churchill Brothers on Sunday.
After two matches with ordinary goals-for-chances ratio, Mohun Bagan exploited the opponents’ lack of experience which also meant that the home team’s fragile defence was not tested at the Kalyani Municipality Stadium, some 54 km from Kolkata.
Mohun Bagan left out Spanish striker Salva Chamorro and goalkeeper Debjit Majumder, who conceded a poor goal in the last match, from the 18. “With Majumder the issue was a crisis in confidence. Salva, I kept out of the team today,” said Mohun Bagan coach Kibu Vicuna.
Sankar Roy, Majumder’s replacement in goal, had an easy evening barring being alert to an attempt by Brazilian Marcel Silva in the 79th minute. And keeping out Silva’s header deep in second half injury-time.
Gonzalez’s fifth minute goal was the salve Mohun Bagan needed following the 2-4 defeat to Churchill Brothers. His shot from close after Joseba Beita’s corner-kick pinged off a TRAU player and off Mohun Bagan central defender Daneil Cyrus gave TRAU goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh no chance.
“We took in an early goal and didn’t settle down. There were also some problems in the defence but we will get better,” said TRAU assistant-coach Surmani Singh. With the Manipur state league yet to start, Singh said the players haven’t had enough Game time. “We have played only the Durand Cup and none of these players were part of that competition,” he said.
Singh, a former TRAU player, said the All India Football Federation is processing Brazilian Douglas da Silva’s papers, which was why for the second game in a row, the TRAU coach’s name was blank on the team sheet.
At the end of the first quarter, Julen Colinas drove wide after Nongdamba Naorem found the Spaniard who along with compatriot Beitia was again Mohun Bagan’s heartbeat in the front third. Beitia was taken off in the 65th minute with an injury.
It was 2-0 by the 38th minute with Suhair running down the middle to meet right wing back Ashutosh Mehta’s delivery leaving Nigeria Patrick Uche trailing in his wake.
TRAU’s effete attempt to spring an off-side trap meant they got off to the worst possible start to the second half when Gonzalez slotted home Beitia’s free-kick in the 46th minute to make it 3-0. Ghosh completed TRAU’s misery with a header, off an assist from Sheikh Faiz, in added time. This was Ghosh’s second goal is as many Games, neither of which he started.
“Subha needs to improve tactically but he has a nose for goals and that is the most important thing for a striker,” said Vicuna.
“We are happy that we won because we needed the three points but I think we were better against Churchill Brothers. Sometimes in football, the result and the performance are two different things. The difference today was that we got an early goal,” he said.
One day after East Bengal got their first win of the competition, 4-1 away to Manipur’s NEROCA, Mohun Bagan Moved to four points from three rounds. TRAU, who play East Bengal here on Saturday, have two defeats from as many games on the road.