Brilliant Daniel Cyrus strike helps Mohun Bagan clinch a narrow win over Indian Arrows

A win for Mohun Bagan in the Kolkata derby can take them six points clear at the top and open a nine-point gap with East Bengal...
A win for Mohun Bagan in the Kolkata derby can take them six points clear at the top and open a nine-point gap with East Bengal...

Mohun Bagan defeated Indian Arrows 1-0 courtesy of a brilliant long ranger from Daniel Cyrus at the Kalyani Municipality Ground, Kalyani on Thursday evening. 

The green and maroons dominated possession for bulk of the match and could have scored a few more if they were not denied by the woodwork on a couple of occassions. 

Kibu Vicuna chose to stick to the winning combination that got the better of Real Kashmir on Sunday. 

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Whereas, Indian Arrows' coach Shanmugam Venkatesh made one single change from their last match against Gokulam Kerala with Harmanpreet Singh getting the nod ahead of Aman Chhetri. 

The hosts started dominating proceedings from the first whistle. Ashutosh Mehta and VP Suhair were combining brilliantly on the right flank and most of Bagan's chances were being created from the wide areas. 

In the 18th minute, the blue cavalry suffered their first setback when Daniel Cyrus scored a world-class goal from 20-yards. Nongdamba Naorem's attempt at goal ricocheted off Bikash Yumnam and the loose ball was received by Cyrus. The Trinidadian fired a first-time volley which nestled at the back of the net in the blink of an eye. 

Bagan could have doubled their lead on the 24th minute when Mehta-Suhair partnership clicked again. The right-back released Suhair but the Kerala-born striker's stinging shot at goal was saved by Lalbiakhlua Jongte. 

Naorem lost possession twice in quick succession which allowed Arrows to venture in the attacking third but the alacrity of Fran Morante and Mehta in defense nipped the threat in the bud. 

After the break, Mohun Bagan restarted with the same momentum and if they were a bit more clinical they could have further extended the lead. Cyrus hit the crosspiece in the 48th minute and in the next move it was Morante who hit the woodwork from a corner. 

In the 51st minute, Arrows got their first significant chance when Sankar Roy was beaten by Horimpam's head but Manvir Singh fell inches short of reaching the loose ball. 

Referee Priyobarta Singh took centre-stage for a few minutes around the hour-mark with a string of contentious decisions. An Arrows defender handed the ball in the penalty box but the referee failed to spot. A minute later Jongte caught the ball outside the box but once again the referee chose to ignore. 

In the final quarter, Indian Arrows started dominating proceedings and had stifled Bagan with their attacking prowess. In injury time they came agonisingly close to level scores but Papa Diawara's timely clearance averted the danger. 

With this win, Mohun Bagan reclaim top spot with 13 points from six matches. The Mariners will get back in action on January 14 against Minerva Punjab away from home. 


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