ALL OR NOTHING - Bagan WIN BIG to set up Final Day Final at Home | Bengaluru FC vs Mohun Bagan SG | Match Review, Player Ratings & More |

Mohun Bagan and challenges. Sounds synonymous, right? Whenever you throw a challenge at this team, they always rise through it. Missing important players? Check. Coach sacked midway after losing three in a row? Check. Team getting knocked out of the AFC Cup group stage? Check. And inspite of all this, Bagan have somehow managed to set up a mouth watering clash on the final day against the reigning champions of the ISL Shield, Mumbai City FC.

Bagan's stand in coach Manuel Cascallana picked up a slightly altered squad. Vishal started in goal, Hector, Subhasish and Anwar made up the usual back three. The change was in the midfield. Anirudh Thapa started in place of the suspended Deepak Tangri. Abhishek Suryavanshi and Joni Kauko gave him company in the middle of the park. Amandeep started in place of Ashish Rai. Manvir retained his place on the right flank. Upfront were Dimi and Sadiku.

This has been a fixture steeped in history and tradition. This is the fixture that has decided an I League title. This has decided a Federation Cup title. And now we meet again, with higher stakes than ever.

Bengaluru started the game on the front foot. Shivaldo was looking dangerous on the right flank and kept getting past his marker with his pace and trickery. Bengaluru's position on the table did not stop them from making a positive start. But Bagan were not in the mood for any mishaps. Slowly and steadily they grew into the game. And soon the result came calling.

Dimi had swung in a corner and Yuste met the ball with his head. The ball hit the upright at the near post but rebounded back to the Spanish defender who made no mistake and smashed the ball into the back of the net. The stadium was silenced. Bagan fans who had travelled all the way were dancing in jubilation. Bagan had taken the lead in the most crucial game of the season. And they did not look like stopping.

Bengaluru were handed a lifeline in the 38th minute when Anwar fouled Sunil Chhetri inside the box. On 99 days out of 100, Sunil would have buried it past the keeper. But today was not his day. Today was the day for Bagan. And the Gods above agreed. The ball hit the woodwork and bounced back. A huge let off for Bagan, and a big set back for Bengaluru. The lead was preserved. Just.

Bagan kept up the attack and went into the halftime with a one goal lead. 

The second half began with a bang. 50th minute of the game, Joni Kauko produced an outrageous back heel pass to find the on rushing Manvir Singh. And like a horse on a stormy night, he ran over anything and everything that came in his path, putting the ball in the net past a helpless Gurpreet. A goal of s resilient and determined player, a goal of the highest class. Manvir Singh is back, and so is Mohun Bagan.

Bagan's frenzy didn't end here as it was time for the new boy to get his name on the chart for the first time. Anirudh Thapa can trademark the art of late runs into the box, for that is what he does best. And tonight was no different. Gurpreet had parried away a long range effort from Joni Kauko but it fell to the path of Dimi Petratos who squared in first time for an arriving Thapa. And he did the rest. A flick and the score read 3-0. Yes 3-0 against one of our biggest rivals in their den. This is vintage Mohun Bagan. But there was more in store.

Pic Courtesy : Ray Sportz

58th minute of the game, and it was that man Manvir again, who was set free and he made no mistake in finding a free Sadiku who made no mistake and scored the tap in. 7th assist of the season for Manvir. Just Mohun Bagan things as they say.

Bagan didn't rest and they had more chances, with Manvir specially missing a header at the near post. But it didn't matter, cause at the final whistle it was Bagan with the three points in their bag. 

MBFT Player Ratings :

Vishal : 6.5/10
Subhasish 6.5/10
Hector : 7.5/10
Anwar 6.5/10
Amandeep 6.5/10
Abhishek : 7/10
Thapa : 7.5/10
Kauko : 7/10
Manvir : 8/10
Petratos : 7.5/10
Sadiku : 7.5/10

Hamill 6.5/10
Hnamte 6/10
Dippendu 6/10
Ashish 6.5/10
Cummings : 6/10

The win meant Bagan are just two points behind Mumbai. The last game of the league for Bagan and Mumbai sets to be a box office affair. It's the battle of two current power houses of Indian football, the new rising stars against the old guard of Indian football. It's the battle of the riches against legacy, tradition and heritage. It's Bagan and Mumbai. The chance to become the best in India. Who will take the crown?

Next time we meet, the answer would already be out. Hold your breaths, support this team for the biggest battle of the season. Fill your lungs, and scream Joy Mohun Bagan!!

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