Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan snatched a thrilling 3-2 victory over hosts Shillong Lajong on the penultimate day of the 12th I-league in Shillong on Friday.
The visitors drew the first blood with Dipanda Dicka scoring in the 4th minute through a penalty kick. Shillong then restored parity with a penalty through Phrangki Buam (45th + 1st) at the JLN Stadium.
The hosts then came back in the second half through Hero of the Match Buam in the 53rd minute, but an outstanding freekick in the 78th minute from Sony Norde saw the Mariners level scores.
The Khalid Jamil-coached side struck back again through Britto in the 88th minute to finally seal the game in their favour.
With this win, Mohun Bagan finished their season at the fifth place with 29 points.
The Kolkata giants built pressure on Lajong’s defence line from the start and the effects were clear when a miscommunication between defender Aiban and goalkeeper Phurba Lachempa resulted in the latter receiving a yellow card and giving away a penalty kick to Mohun Bagan for a foul on Dicka.
The forward thereafter made no mistake in converting the penalty kick giving Mohun Bagan a very crucial lead in the 4th minute.
Shillong, despite the early setback, did not lose hope and kept trying to create chances but somehow could not convert any to their favour mostly due to the lack of a good finish.
Though the Red Devils were the ones who had the lions share of the ball possession, it was Mohun Bagan who kept pressing hard trying to double their lead.
Dicka along with Sony Norde made a few attempts but a more alert Lajong Defence ensured the visitors do not extend their lead any further.
The hosts made some interesting attempts and nearly scored through Donboklang within the regulation time in the first half, but the woodwork played a spoilsport for them.
They did not stop trying and were soon rewarded in the first minute of added time at the end of the first 45 minutes when a soft push from Arijit Bagui on Phrangki Buam inside the box saw the latter earning a penalty for the hosts.
Buam thereafter made no mistakes in finding the much-needed equalizer for Shillong Lajong in the 46th minute, bringing the first half to an end.
The second half began with the combination of Donbokland, Buam and Mahesh troubling the Bagan defence.
Results soon came their way when an inch-perfect pass from Donboklang to Pharngki Buam saw the latter make no mistakes in beating Shankar Roy to find the back of the net taking a crucial 2-1 lead in the 53rd minute.
Mohun Bagan’s efforts for an equalizer gained pace in the second last quarter of the second half and Britto’s introduction in the 72nd minute just added a lot of sheen to the combination of Sony and Dicka.
Results soon came when just six minutes later in the 78th minute Sony scored an outstanding equalizer from a free kick which came their way after Freestar’s tackle on William was penalized just outside the box.
Jamil’s side then made a series of attempts but somehow could not finish to take the lead.
Mohun Bagan finally found their way when Britto scored in the 88th minute on a rebound that was a result of a good save by Phurba Lachempa from a Dicka attempt, taking the scoreline to 2-3 in the Mariners’ favour.