Mohun Bagan lose 1-2 to Al Wihdat in AFC Cup

March 17th, 2009 - 10:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, March 17 (IANS) Mohun Bagan failed to hold on to an early lead and went down 1-2 against Jordan’s Al Wihdat in an AFC Cup Group D outing at Howrah Municipal stadium near here Tuesday.
In an action-packed first half, the hosts took the lead in the 13th minute through Rakesh Masih, but the Jordanians equalised within two minutes as Mahmoud Shelbaieh found the target, and Hassan Abdel Fatah scored the winner three minutes from lemon break.

Mohun Bagan created some good chances but failed to capitalise on them, as they slipped into their second straight defeat in as many games. For Wihdat, this was their first victory in the tournament, after having drawn 1-1 opposite Kuwait SC at home last week.

Bagan began well and in the very seventh minute a power-packed left footer from Lalkamal Bhowmick almost put the home side ahead, but Wihdat goalkeeper Malek Samih managed to save the situation at the cost of a corner.

But Bagan kept up the pressure and tested success within six minutes. L James Singh initiated a move and fed a long pass to Bhaichung Bhutia, whose pass was finished off with a 30-yard pile driver by Masih.

The tourists got the equaliser exploiting a Mohun Bagan defensive lapse. Shelbaieh showed his cool temperament as he nodded home a cross from right wing Issa Alsapah.

Carrying out waves of attacks from the right, Wihdat snatched the winning lead in the 42nd minute as Fatah stabbed in a left footer by following up an aerial ball from Shelbaieh.

The Bagan midfielders had a lacklustre outing and this gave the crucial advantage to the Jordanians in the creative zone.

In the second session, substitute Branco Cardozo came close to scoring for the locals but his weak header off an N. Mohanraj ball was not enough to beat Samih.

Some time later, another replacement Brazilian Marcos Pereira ballooned over an Ishfaq Ahmed square pass.

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