I-League: Katsumi’s strike sinks Sporting

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Kolkata, Feb 20 (IANS) A solitary goal from captain Katsumi Yusa and some outstanding goalkeeping from Debjit Majumder ensured Mohun Bagan all three points as they beat Sporting Clube De Goa 1-0 in an I-League encounter at the Barasat Stadium here on Saturday.

Bagan have now consolidated their position at the top of the leader board with 18 points from eight games. Sporting remain fourth on the table with 11 points from eight contests.

After a barren first half, Yusa scored for the hosts in the 73rd minute mark with a right-footer which eventually turned out to be the winner.

From the very beginning Bagan had a strong grip on the proceedings and showed glimpses as to why they are the defending champions. At the 11th minute mark the home side came close to breaking the deadlock as defender Dhanachandra Singh floated in a cross. The ball ricocheted off the cross bar and was almost slotted in by Cornell Glen but Fulganco Cardozo cleared away the danger.

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A few minutes later, the visitors sprung into action as Nico Fernandez played a delightful chip forward for Ganesh Thakur. The latter almost got to the ball but Majumder leapt forward to latch onto it.

Glen then missed the target by a whisker with a strong header at the 22nd minute mark.

Thereafter two penalty shouts of Bagan fell on deaf ears. First it was Yusa who was pushed inside the box by Dharmaraj Ravanan and then it was Souvik Chakraborty who was brought down in quick succession. But the referee did not give away the spot-kick.

It was all square at the Barasat Stadium at halftime.

After the restart, Bagan pressed on the gas again. Dhanachandra Singh tried his luck with a crisp long range volley but his shot sailed over the cross bar.

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Yusa then tried to pass the ball to Glen on a counter attack but the latter went the other way wasting the opportunity.

The hosts were finally rewarded for their impressive football as their Haitian midfielder Sony Norde after cutting past two defenders sent in a floater for Jeje Lalpekhlua.

Jeje failed to connect with the cross but Yusa was there at the right time to slot it in with his right-boot.

Sporting’s poster boy Odafa Okolie tried hard to equalize for his side and almost pulled it off but again his brilliant effort was thwarted away by Majumder who looked unbeatable on the day.

In the last few minutes Bagan resorted to time wasting tactics and held on to their one-goal advantage till the final whistle.

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