Mohun Bagan were defeated 1-0 by Maziya S&RC at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium in Kolkata in their AFC Cup Group Stage encounter. This defeat condemns the Mariners to the third spot in the group behind Bengaluru FC and the night's victors.
The Maldivians won thanks to Mohamed Umair's in the 34th minute as the midfielder scored his second goal in the group stage.
The Kolkata giants, who only had Balwant Singh and Jeje Lalpekhlua from the regular first team, went in with fringe players to rest their key men ahead of Saturday’s match against Aizawl FC - the potential I-League title decider.
Andrei-Alexandru Cordos was retracted from the lineup even before Maziya took onto the field. Gasim Samaam was put at left back in his place as Imaaz Ahmed was out injured.
Balwant Singh had the best of chance to break the deadlock in the 14th minute as he dipped in a ball from 23 yards out as Pavel Matiash got some fingers to it before the ball kissed the crossbar.
In the 20th minute, Aleksandar Rakic took an swipe from inside the box as three defenders closed in on him but the ball flew over.
Four minutes past the half-hour mark, the Mariners defense was caught napping. Ali Samooh glided in with the ball to be blocked by Souvik Chakraborti and the loose ball fell in Mohamed Umair’s feet. Kinshuk Debnath was beaten for pace and the Umair found the back of the net to his farpost, bringing up his second goal in the tournament, after scoring in Dhaka last month.
The setback did not deter the young Mohun Bagan outfit to push for an equaliser and that was evident in the plethora of chances which fell to their stirkers.
Rakic would have deemed himself unlucky as he found himself in one v one situations twice in the second half but failed to convert.
Milos Kovacevic’s two yellow card within four minutes saw the Green Boys go a man down, but having the numerical advantage for the last five minutes saw them held on.
Katsumi Yusa was introduced earlier and his barrage of crosses saw him let down by Balwant and Prabir Das.