Outstanding performances from Subrata Pal and Douhou Pierre ensured that Salgaocar moved to second place in Group B, with six points in the 2014-15 Federation Cup. However, the major headline was that favorites Mohun Bagan crashed out with a 4-1 loss to their I League counterparts Salgaocar. The loss throws a major problem to Mohun Bagan manager Sanjoy Sen, who has failed to deliver in his first cup outing at the helm of the iconic club. Coming back to the match, the Tilak Maidan was treated to a joyous occasion, as they saw their club victorious in what was quintessentially a must win game for both sides.
Sanjoy Sen makes significant changes
Mohun Bagan manager Sanjoy Sen made significant changes to his starting XI. In the absence of Shouvik Ghosh , former Athletico de Kolkata full back Kingshuk Debnath was brought on in his place. In a shocking move, Lalkamal Bhowmick was reinstated to the bench and was replaced by Pankaj Moula. The absence of Bhowmick meant that pacy attacking midfielder Yusa Katsumi was moved into the heart of midfield, pairing him with India international Denson Devdas. This change in the roster signaled attacking intent. Pierre Boya, Sony Norde and Balwant Singh completed the attacking line, with the resolute defensive partnership of Anwar Ali and Bello Razaq and captain Shilton Paul deployed in between the sticks.
Derrick Pereira kept faith in the same side that triumphed 2-1 over Shillong Lajong, with 2013-14 I League Golden Boot holder Darryl Duffy and Douhou Pierre deployed in attack. Indian international Subrata Pal was deployed in goal, as captain Rocus Lamare was once again the lynchpin of the Salgaocar starting XI.
Pierre Boya strikes as Mohun Bagan dominate
Having made changes to the entire shape of his side, Mohun Bagan began their must win fixture pooling all their resources in attack. Sony Norde was a live-wire, creating chances and giving a hard time to the Salgaocar defenders Augustin Fernandes, Gurjinder Kumar and Rosario Mendes. Salgaocar’s Scottish striker Darryl Duffy barely touched the ball, as Shilton Paul was relatively untroubled. Anwar Ali and Bello Razaq’s solidity at the back ensured that Duffy or Douhou didn’t find a way to Shilton Paul.
With less than half an hour on the clock, Pierre Boya found the back of the net. An excellent through ball from make shift right back Kingshuk Debnath found the Cameroon striker, whose sharp turn and toe poke found its way past Subrata Pal to put the Mariners on the score sheet.
Sanjoy Sen tinkers with formation as Salgaocar draw level
Following the goal, Sanjoy Sen reverted back to his previous formation by bringing on Lalkamal Bhowmick in place of lackluster midfielder Pankaj Moula. This change ensured that Yusa Katsumi once again found his place on the right flank, with Bhowmick partnering Denson Devdas in midfield. The change however, left Bagan defensively vulnerable, as the Salgaocar outfit who had been relatively quiet began to find their feet with short passes and making in roads, thus testing Shilton Pal at goal a few times.
A free kick a reasonable distance from goal, was floated in, only to be met by the head of Ivorian forward Douhou Pierre. The goal, for the first time in the match, exposed the defensive frailties of the Mohun Bagan defence, despite the latter showing immense strength and solidity. The Douhou goal meant not only meant that all the good work done by the attack was undone, but also meant that the halftime score would read 1-1.
Salgaocar pick up where they left off
Nobody will know the exact words of the team talk given by Salgaocar coach Derrick Pereira, but the impact it had on the players was intense. The Greens came out with attacking intent, as Douhou Pierre and company began on the front foot from the word go and started creating chances. Having been relatively quiet the first half, Saran Singh and Bikash Jairu began attacking the very core of the Mohun Bagan defence, courtesy of their short passes and through balls.
The chances came thick and fast for both sides, as the deadlock remained unbroken, with Subrata Pal and Shilton Pual having to be at their acrobatic best.
Three Second Half Goals conclude a brilliant Salgaocar performance
With a quarter of the game to go, Salgaocar’s Zambia defender Francis Kasonde made it 2-1, with a poacher’s goal from a couple of yards from the goal line. Despite Shilton Paul’s initial miraculous save from an Augustine Fernandes header, the former could do nothing about Kasonde’s finish. A shocked Mohun Bagan, once again began tinkering away at their formation, as a panic struck Sanjoy Sen brought in the attack minded C.S Sabeeth for Yusa Katsumi.
Having made the substitution in haste, the move backfired miserably, as Salgaocar increased the lead, with Douhou Pierre once again finding the back of the net. Having gotten the better of Bello Razaq, the Ivory Coast striker dribbled past Anwar Ali and Kingshuk Debnath to find an opening. A left footed shot, despite receiving a significant deflection from Shilton Paul’s hand, managed to crawl its way into the Mohun Bagan net.
Having been brought on late in the second half, Clifton Dias surprisingly found his name on the score sheet, courtesy of some magnificent play once again from Saran Singh and Douhou Pierre. With the score standing at 4-1 at stoppage time, Mohun Bagan was indeed done and dusted.
Having made a terrible start to his managerial career at Mohun Bagan, Sanjoy Sen can take solace in the fact that his side look far more organised defensively than the rest. having said that, the Mariners will look to finish their campaign on a high as they face Shillong Lajong, yet another side playing for their pride.
The victory for Derrick Pereira’s men meant that his side still have a good shot at making it to the semifinals of the Federation Cup. Salgoacar will face off against Pune F.C with strong chances of qualifying from their group.