Experience triumphs over Youth - Mohun Bagan versus Hyderabad FC Review

Courtesy : MBSG Media

Define Hyderabad FC in a word. Past Champions? Unlucky? Careless and unprofessional? A club whose downfall has pained the whole of Indian football, Hyderabad FC is not a team of the yester years. Just last season they were a team everyone feared. A team managed by one of the best managers ISL has ever seen, a team filled with youngsters. A team with excellent scouting and great foreigners. A team with a budding fan base, small yet passionate. Cut to a year later, the Nizams are down and out. There seems no way back as of now. Unprofessional management, unfulfillment of promises and a lot of off the field stuff has affected this team. A team which once made even the best in the league work hard for their points, have now become everyone's favorite team to play against. Hence it was no surprise that the battle was an uphill one to play and hope for a result against one of the stronger teams in India. Mohun Bagan knew they were the favorites, it was a question of just how many.

Habas selected his team with a few surprises. Vishal Kaith started in goal. Hector Yuste, Subhasis Bose and Amandeep started in defence. Thapa, Sahal, Glan and Abhishek started in the midfield. Upfront were Jason Cummings, Dimi Petratos and Manvir Singh. Manvir was playing his 101st game for the Mariners. Playing so many games for a club he dreamt to play for since childhood has been a dream come true for him. We at MBFT congratulate him. We also congratulate Amandeep for making his first start in the senior team in ISL (Amandeep was forced to leave the pitch due to injury concerns at the 32nd min of the game) and also Dippendu Biswas got his ISL debut. May this be the beginning of a storied and wonderful career up ahead. 

Ultras Corteo by Mariners De Xtreme

The notable thing was however, the inclusion of Joni Kauko and the omission of Hugo Boumous. In fact, Boumous was all total omitted from the team list on the official ISL site. A shocking move to say the least. Hugo has been one of the best players in ISL since the inception of the league. Granted he has not been in his best form this season, but could his exit have been handled in a more gracious way? Maybe. Probably. Should have been. While we are happy to get Joni back, it's sad to see the little magician go. He'll definitely be missed.

Mohun Bagan has been on a winless run in the ISL and they were desperate to make amends. Petratos, our hero from last game, started the game with real intent. It was a must win game, and when the need arises, big players arise too. But Hyderabad didn't budge either. If Bagan controlled the pace of the game and had more dominance, Hyderabad too didn't pull any punches. Petratos was on a self given mission tonight, unleashing shots from distance but to no avail. Finally at the 11 minutes the deadlock broke.

Dimi curled in a corner from the left and it found Manvir Singh. Manvir made a flick which wasn't dealt with by the Hyderabad defense and Anirudh Thapa tapped it in from close range. The man who costed Bagan big money in the summer transfer window had finally delivered. The longing for that goal was evident in the celebration. A first of many for sure.

Hyderabad didn't give up after the goal, with one boy notably causing a lot of problems for the Bagan defense. Chhunga playing from the left was wreaking havoc. On one occasion, he nutmegged Glan Martins and had a shot on target, while on the other he just skipped past the defense to put in the cross. Not only him, but Rabeeh, Chhothe, Sunny and so many youngsters playing for Hyderabad, who might not have got this exposure if the situation at the club were better, didn't let their manager down. 

Mohun Bagan too tried to score another one. Cummings curled one with his left foot, Sahal had a shot from outside the box, crosses came in from both flanks. Bagan did everything except converting the chances. They also afforded way too much possession to Hyderabad FC. Infact, the game which everyone predicted to be one sided was actually turning out to be a feisty fist for fist battle. The youngster's zeal against the legacy's roar.

Dimi had a shot, Cummings had a shot, Sahal had a shot. But the score board didn't change. Bagan were increasing their dominance with every phase of the game. And the reward finally came. 45+2' minute of the game. Petratos pulled the defense with him and released a quick through ball for Manvir on the right. Manvir took the gamble and hit a low cross first time. The ball was met by the left boot of Jason Cummings who didn't make any mistake. The agent of chaos had returned. And it was long overdue that he scored. Bagan went into the break with a comfortable two goal lead.

The second half belonged to Gurmeet Singh of Hyderabad FC. Shot after shot, move after move was thwarted away by him. Be it Manvir Singh from close range, or be it a Dimi Petratos curler, Gurmeet did everything he can to keep the score to two nil. Bagan made some great moves in the second half with Dimi Petratos at the heart of almost everything Bagan did. Manvir too had a great game. Although the decision making of this team seemed to off but still the win was secured. The second half also saw the return of Joni Kauko. Habas's trusted man returned to the field after a year and it was so good to see him back. Sure Hugo will be missed, but Kauko will provide that extra quality and solidity in the middle of the park. Can he be the missing piece of the puzzle that elevates this under performing super team to the highest accolades we know they are capable of? Only time will tell.

At full time the score read 2-0. A job well done. Amidst all the noise off field, it's good to have Habas back. He for one knows how to control a bunch of inflated egos. No one is bigger than the club, and Habas makes sure to let everyone know of this. One can only hope this win acts like a spring, elevating the confidence and the the confidence in the team as we chase our first league shield.


Vishal 7
Amandeep N/A
Subhasish 8
Hector 7
Glan 6
Abhishek 8
Thapa 8
Sahal 8
Manvir 7
Dimitri 7
Jason 7

Kiyan 7
Dippendu 8
Kauko 7
Hnamte 6 
Suhail 6

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