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I-league leaders Mohun Bagan march on with 2-0 win over Mumbai
Kolkata, March 13: Leaders Mohun Bagan extended their stranglehold of the I-league with another clinical 2-0 win against Mumbai FC to maintain their dream unbeaten run in the football competition here on Sunday.
Substitute midfielder Katsumi Yusa put the hosts ahead in the 34th minute. Haitian forward Sony Norde increased the margin in the 62nd minute at the Barasat stadium.
With the win, Mohun Bagan increased their unbeaten run to 11 matches and extended their lead at the top to three points with 25 from 11 games. Second-placed Bengaluru have 22 from as many matches. Mumbai FC are sixth with 12.
Mohun Bagan's assistant coach Shankarlal Chakrabarty, at the helm because of an 8-game ban on head coach Sanjoy Sen for indiscipline, substituted Under-22 player Manish Bhargav with Katsumi in the 29th minute.
And the Japanese took only five minutes to repay the faith. He put the finishing touches and a nice build-up play for strikers Cornell Glen and Jeje Lalpekhlua. Katsumi was unmarked inside the box and placed his shot to the far corner of the goal.
Mohun Bagan were clearly the dominant side and created chances to increase the tally, only to squander them with Glen and Norde being guilty of misfiring.
Haitian Norde had an empty goal to aim at but somehow shot over the gaping net. He remained a threat to Mumbai after the break as he break free on several occasions but couldn't deliver the final punch.
He, however, atoned spectacularly just past the half hour mark, guiding a free-kick with laser precision in the topmost corner evading the diving clutches of a desperate goalkeeper.
The insurance goal gave Mohun Bagan freedom to attack more expansively and could have won by a bigger margin, had Katusmi's diagonal efforts not ricocheted off the post.
In another match at Pune, bottom-placed DSK Shivajians beat Sporting Clube de Goa 3-1 to jump to the seventh spot. Sporting remained on fourth with 14 points from 12 matches.