" A 90th minute screamer for Thockchom proved to be the winner as the ball…
Kolkata(NERVE): Goals from defender Dhanachandra Singh (28th minute) and striker Balwant Singh (85th) helped Mohun Bagan beat Dempo SC 2-0 and go top of the points table in an I-League football match at the Salt Lake stadium here on Sunday.
With the win, Mohun Bagan have 18 points from eight games and extended their undefeated run, while visitors Dempo SC are struggling with eight points from nine matches.
The match saw two send-offs as referee C.R. Srikrishna gave Mohun Bagan defender Sehnaj Singh and Dempo midfielder Carlos Hernandez red cards in the 89th minute.
Right from the start of the match, Mohun Bagan looked more confident on the ball as the passive Dempo repeatedly lost possession in the midfield.
The home team got the first clear-cut chance in the 19th minute with a cross from the right, kick-starting the move. Balwant carefully laid the ball down to midfielder Yusa Katsumi just infront of the box, but the Japanese player’s impressive shot missed the target by a narrow margin.
The hosts finally scored in the 28th minute when Katsumi sailed in a corner from the right wing and an attempted header from Dempo midfielder Clifford Miranda unsettled the visting team’s goalkeeper.
The ball fell to Balwant close to the goal, but the Indian striker couldn’t muster a powerful shot as his effort was feebly headed by defender Nirmal Chhetri. Dhanachandra who was lurking near the far post utilised the chance well and slotted the ball from close range.
Home supporters got to cheer for the second time in the 85th minute when the team won a free-kick near the left flank. Katsumi curled the ball inside the Dempo territory. Balwant rose above the fight to connect his header perfectly as the hosts went 2-0 up.
But just ahead of 90 minutes, the match saw a bit more drama when Sehnaj clattered into the legs of Carlos from behind and the Costa Rican playmaker retaliated.
The referee showed red cards to both players as play was halted for a few minutes.