'Champion's Luck' - handed Mohun Bagan a hard fought win over Hyderabad FC.

Mohun Bagan continued their winning run of form in the Kalinga Super Cup 2024 as they defeated Hyderabad FC 2 (Mark Zothanpuia(OG) 88’ , Petratos(P)92’)  - 1 (Ramhlunchhunga) and registered their 2nd win of the group stages.

“Luck” – Probably the best word to describe today's win against Hyderabad FC. Hyderabad FC , financially depleted, all things going wrong for them at the moment, but one thing which has been working for them is the passion of the young players to play for the team, to play for the crest and the coach's game plan.  Hyderabad FC were on the front foot from the very get go, they focused on attacking Bagan defense through the wide areas by relying on the fast pace of the young Indian players. Thangboi Singto, Hyderabad FC head coach, had all answers for the Bagan attacks as the bagan attackers were totally frustrated out in the first half . Mohun Bagan , who had the lion's share of possession in the first half had only one shot on target, that too was from a free-kick by Dimi Petratos. 

Clifford Miranda named his starting 11 with as he returns to a 3-5-2 formation with Suhail and Cummings upfront as Glan returns to the 11. 
Mohun bagan started the match in a very clumsy manner and were punished instantaneously as a miscommunication between Brendan Hamill and Arsh presented Chhunga Hmar with an open goal , and the youngster made no mistake to hand Hyderabad FC the lead as early as in the 7th minute. Mohun Bagan were making all things possible for them to open the Hyderbad defense but the defensive pairing of Alex Saji and Nim Dorjee were too tough to break. An all Indian 11 were proving to be too heavy for the mighty Mariners and they kept Mariners frustrated for the lion's share of the match. The first half ended 1-0 for the visitors. 

The second half began in the similar clumsy pattern, but this time the Mariners were a tad bit more focused. Dimi petratos who had been playing as a central midfielder in the first half whose primary work was to create play from the back was handed a bit more freedom to venture forward and pair up with Hugo Boumous for creating chances. 
No sooner had Dimi petratos started to move forward than the chances began to open up for the Mariners. But the tight orientation of the Hyderabad defense and midfield was making it more difficult for Bagan to score goals. Though , Hugo, Dimi or kiyan started to have shots on target but they can't go past Kattimani. 
Meanwhile Cummings had presented Suhail with the most prominent chance of the game till then, which the youngster missed totally. Clifford Miranda made changes and sent in Taison Singh in place of Suhail and paired him up with Ashish Rai and Dimi petratos in the right side to create havoc, they were all doing well but a bit of luck or individual magic was required to put Mariners back into the game. Meanwhile, Nim Dorjee , who has been outstanding for Hyderabad FC, received a second yellow card after a silly foul and arguments. This is where the game changed. 
Ravi rana, who is generally quiet, launched a long ball for Cummings, which was misheaded by Mark Zothanpuia for an own goal and the Mariners were brought back to level terms. After the equalising goal, Mariners increased the pressure and it paid off as Mark Zothanpuia this time brought down Hugo Boumous in the penalty box and Dimi petratos makes no mistake from the spot to hand Mohun Bagan the lead. From there on Mohun Bagan held on to the lead for ensuring their 2nd victory of the super cup campaign. 

Inspite of the win, this is not a performance anyone expects from a team of Mariners' calibre. With all the Big names and most promising youngsters in their roster , it is expected that they will dominate and win games but a Hyderabad FC , facing adversities from all sides , showed a good fighting spirit and were almost in the touching distance of a win and handing the first upset of the super cup. But Mariners with that slight bit of so called "Champion's Luck" won this match. An all Indian side showed this Mariners side, how fighting spirit looks like, how is it to play for the crest on the chest. 

MBFT Player Ratings :- 

Arsh Anwar Sheikh - 7/10 
A mis-communication between him and Hamill handed Hyderabad FC their only goal of the match but otherwise a very solid outing from the youngster.

Raj Basfore - 7/10 
Continued his superb run of form . He showed today he can play in multiple positions today starting from centre back to any side backs or wing backs . Outstanding player.

Hector Yuste - 6.5/10
A bit below par performance from the experienced campaigner. Had a header wide of the post. Could have done better to prevent Hyderabad attacks.

Brendan Hamill - 6.5/10 
Was captain for the day but committed a mistake early on to hand opponent the lead but thereafter maintained a strong performance.

Ashish Rai - 7/10 
Previous Match's MOM was on fire again today down the right flank. All attacks from right flank went through him. Brilliant performance.

Glan Martins - 6.5/10
He had done his job pretty well but his passing could have been better otherwise defensively dropped a good performance.

Hugo Boumous - 7.5/10
Was isolated sometimes in the first half but as the game went on find his feet and troubled the opponents. In the 2nd half as Dimi petratos began to play closer to him he became more dangerous. Earned the penalty for the winning goal of the match.

Dimi Petratos - 8/10
Was quite in the 1st half due to his assigned role in the middle of the park but was back to life once he was given venture to move forward. Scored the winning penalty.

Kiyan Nassiri - 8/10
Created trouble for defenders down the left channel with his pace but needs to work on his final ball delivery and finishing. 

Jason Cummings - 6/10
Had a quiet afternoon, didn't do anything that would led to goal, but tried hard to create chances for teammates. The own-goal came all thanks to his pressure on the defender.

Suhail Bhatt - 6/10
Used his pace well but need to learn to be patient and use his chances . Need to polish his scoring boots .


Taison Singh - 6/10
Created problems for opponents from the right side but still needs to work on his decision making and final ball delivery.

Ravi Rana - 7/10
Launched the long ball which resulted in the own goal for the equaliser. Made his impact felt down the left channel. Combined well with Kiyan and Hugo.

Engson - 6/10
Came in for the last few minutes of the match . Didn't do anything contributive but was in total control for his part of the game.

The Mariners will again to return to action on 19th January, against East Bengal FC in the Kolkata Derby.

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