Bagan, Sporting draw 1-1 in a drab I-league encounterOctober 19th, 2008 - 10:20 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Oct 19 (IANS) Playing a dull and slow game of soccer, Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting drew 1-1 in a I-league outing here Sunday. Goutam Thakur put Sporting ahead in the very second minute, but redoubtable upfronter Jose Barreto saved the blushes for Bagan by netting midway into the same session of the Salt Lake Stadium match.
The clash between two of the big city clubs failed to draw a good crowd, as only 5,000 turned up and went home disappointed with the fare on display.
Both sides displayed lack of planning and played erratically, in the process doing little to improve their low standings in the glamorous league. Both have collected only two points from four encounters. Having scored more goals, Bagan occupy the 10th spot, while Sporting hold the penultimate position in the 12-team competition.
Three time league champions Bagan dearly missed the services of Bhaichung Bhutia, who is yet to recuperate from his hamstring injury. With Lalampuiya and Habibur Rahman also resting on the benches due to injuries, the green and maroon seemed a depleted lot.
Thakur’s goal was the result of a flash of brilliance from Sunday Theo. The Nigerian latched on to a long pass from compatriot Mike Okoro, and dodged past three rival defenders and goal keeper Shilton Paul and passed on to an unmarked Goutam Thakur who did the rest.
Bagan got the equaliser in the 23rd minute as Barreto found the mark following a square pass from Shylo Malswamtluanga.
Bagan controlled the rest of the session, but failed to capitalise on the chances which came their way.
Sporting came back strongly after the breather, carrying out some well-coordinated moves into the rival half, but that was not enough to change the scoreline.
Midway into the second half, an Okoro centre saw Sovan Chakraborty set up Theo, but the Nigerian muffled it.
Bagan’s Rakesh Masih was adjudged man of the match.