Male, Feb 21: Mohun Bagan squandered a one-goal advantage midway into the second half, playing out a 1-1 draw with Club Valencia of Maldives in their 2017 AFC Cup South Zone play-off match here today, February 21.
The Indian club took an early lead through Darryl Duffy’s fifth-minute strike, which was cancelled out in the 72nd minute by Godfrey West Omodu, who converted from the spot after Subhasish Bose was adjudged to have handled the ball.
This meant that both teams had to be content with a point each. With quite a few of their first-team players rested, Mohun Bagan had Shilton Paul in goal while Balwant Singh and Duffy were deployed upfront.
Katsumi Yusa and Bikramjit Singh marshalled the midfield, while youngster Raynier Fernandes was given a run on the left wing. Much to the disappointment of the home crowd, the visiting side went ahead early.
Duffy placed the ball into the net after Prabir Das, having made a darting run down the right, which caught the Valencia defenders napping, played the ball to the striker.
Prabir was instrumental in most of Bagan’s forward forays on the day. A 15th-minute cross to Balwant did not culminate in a goal as the home side defenders, on this occasion, proved to be equal to the task.
Mohun Bagan dominated possession, but the good work did not lead to a victory as Omodu found the elusive goal for the hosts.
Even as Omodu came close to scoring on another occasion, Mohun Bagan too had their share of chances.
Ten minutes into the second half, Balwant had a chance to score after Raynier had sent in a beautiful cross from the left, but the striker’s header went straight to the home side goalkeeper.
Meanwhile, Prabir was in the thick of things as he set up set up Katsumi, but the Japenese midfielder’s shot went over the bar.
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