Kolkata: Defending champions Mohun Bagan kick started their I League campaign in style. The Green and Maroon brigade registered a comprehensive 3-1 win against debutants Aizwal FC at Barasat today. Trinidadian international Cornell Glen scored a brace in his first appearance for the I league champions.
Balwant Singh scored the third goal for Bagan. Aizwal FC reduced the margin after Pritam Kotal scored an own goal.
Sanjoy Sen went into the match with a 4-4-2 combination, aiming to start the league on a positive note. Cornell Glen partnered Balwant Singh up front while Katsumi Yusa was deployed in the wings in the absence of Sony Norde.
Aizwal’s Spanish coach Manuel Retamero went into the match with a full strength squad hoping to surprise the Green and Maroon brigade.
Bagan took the lead as early as six minutes into the match through Glen .The former Lajong forward received the ball on the left and calmly slotted it past the Aizawl custodian to score his first goal for the I-League champions?.
Aizawl managed to restore parity in the 10th minute of the match via an own goal from Bagan defender Pritam Kotal. The FC Pune City full back pushed the ball into his own net in an attempt to clear the ball from Alfred Jayran shot.
Glenn scored again in the 22nd minute of the match to restore the lead. Balwant’ s pass from the left flank found Glen outside the box as the Trinandian international quickly made room for him and shot past Aizwal custodian Poirei Soram .
Balwant stretched the lead for the I League 15 minutes before half time. He blazed past the Aizawl defenders with his pace and his right footer found the bottom left corner, beating the ex-Bengaluru FC custodian.
Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen although looked satisfied with the win but still was unhappy with his team’s second half performance.” We didn’t play well in the second half. ”
“I just wanted to win this match at any cost, as it is very important to start well in a league like this. We were a bit concerned to start with as we had to lose Lenny who suffered an injury yesterday. I must admit I am happy with the start we got, as we didn’t want to lose any points.”
Coach Sanjoy Sen was very impressed with Trinidadian international Cornell Glen who played his first I league match for the defending champions. It was all the more special for Glen as he was adjudged the man of the match. Both Glen and Balwant combined well for Bagan upfront , “ I loved the way they combined up front after getting to adjust in such a small time .” commented a happy looking Bagan coach .
There was a small incident that happened at the Barasat Stadium. Former footballer and MP Prasun Banerjee and some police officers were seen sitting beside the sidelines, which caught the attention of I-league CEO Sunando Dhar. He warned the club officials to restrain ex-players from entering the playing arena, “No one apart from the match officials can enter the playing arena. It was unfortunate to see them seated beside the sidelines. I have warned the club officials not to allow anyone inside. If it does happen again, we will penalize the club.” warned the I league CEO.
Mohun Bagan will play Salgaocar in their next match at the Barasat Stadium. On the same day Mohammedan Sporting is also scheduled to play their second division league match at the same venue. Sunando made it clear that Mohun Bagan will be playing their match at the Barasat Stadium as per schedule. They are trying to shift Mohammedan’s match to Kalyani Stadium or Howrah Stadium.
Man of the match Cornell Glen was elated having scored two goals on his debut with Mohun Bagan,”I am happy to have scored in my first match for Mohun Bagan. It was a combined team effort. ”
Meanwhile Jeje and Sony Norde will be joining the I League champions very soon.