Kolkata, April 19 (IANS) Mohun Bagan lost for the second time in the AFC Cup group stages to dent their chances of advancing to the next stage as a 10-man Maziya Sports & Recreation beat them 1-0 in a Group E tie here at the Rabindra Sarovar Stadium on Wednesday.
Mohun Bagan fell to Mohamed Umair’s goal in the 34th minute to drop to third position in the four-team points table, having three points from the same number of matches. Maziya have six from three outings after the win.
Maziya’s Milos Kovacevic picked up two bookings in the span of four minutes to be sent off in the 86th minute.
Mohun Bagan fielded an all Indian XI, resting key foreign recruits for their title deciding I-League encounter in Aizawl. Only forwards Jeje Lalpekhlua, Balwant Singh and Souvik Chakroborty were retained from the first choice starting line-up.
Maziya were dented before kickoff as Andrei Alexandru Cordos picked up a knock and was removed from the first team with Samaam Gasim replacing him.
In the 14th minute, Balwant twisted and turned to let fly a rasping left-footer which rattled the bar off goalkeeper Matiash Pavel’s hands.
Maziya’s Aleksander Rakic took a swipe at goal soon after but his attempt blazed just over the bar.
Three minutes into the half hour mark, Balwant made a mazy run into the box and got into a good position to score, but a rival defender did well to block his effort.
Against the run of play, Maziya took the lead through Umair who capitalised on a loose ball inside the box to fire an angular effort at the far post.
The tourists had a chance to double their margin soon after the half-time with Yasfaadh Habeeb heading just over the bar from skipper Abdulla Asadhulla’s cross.
Rakic came close too for Maziya as Mohun Bagan wasted a raft of gilt-edged chances towards the end of second half to consign to their first defeat since March 14 when they lost to Bengaluru FC.
Mohun Bagan have one more home game remaining in the AFC Cup.