Punjab FC fall short of playoff dreams as they go down to Mohun Bagan by a solitary goal

Apr 8, 2024 | News

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New Delhi, April 6: Punjab FC went down fighting to a solitary goal as Mohun Bagan scraped through a victory in Round 21 of the Indian Super League 2023-24 season which was played here at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

With this loss, Punjab FC fell short in their playoff chances and Mohun Bagan jumped to second keeping their ISL Shield Title chances alive. Dimitri Petratos scored the decisive goal for the winners.

Punjab FC Interim Head Coach Sankarlal Chakraborty made three changes to the starting lineup with Melroy Assisi and Tekcham Abhishek Singh coming in for Suresh Meitei and Khaimingthang Lhungdim in defence and Amarjit Singh Kiyam coming back in the centre of midfield in place of Ashis Pradhan. Mohun Bagan Super Giant who also were missing their Head Coach Antonio Habas in the dugout named a strong lineup with Jason Cummings and Dimitri Petratos leading the attacking line.

The Mariners controlled the game and were looking comfortable inside the Punjab half but the home side were compact did not allow any space for the away side to create clear cut chances. Dimitri Petratos and Jason Cummings had half chances but did not trouble Ravi Kumar in the Punjab goal. Punjab FC came the closest to score before the first half drinks break as Wilmar Jordan’s thunderous strike was well saved by Vishal Kaith.

Mohun Bagan broke the deadlock minutes before the end of the first half through Petratos. Subhashish Bose’s 35 yard shot hit Jason Cummings and fell on the path of Petratos and the Greek attacker’s left footed shot beat Ravi Kumar for his tenth goal of the season. Luka Majcen did put the ball in the back of the net minutes later from a header but it was ruled out for offside as Mohun Bagan went into the half with a lead.

The game opened up in the second half with Punjab trying to look for the equalizer. Wilmar Jordan scuffed a glorious opportunity to equalize as he failed to capitalize from a back heel of Luka Majcen. On the other end Melroy Assisi’s last ditch tackle denied Jason Cummings an open goal to double the visitor’s lead. Wilmar Jordan was again denied by the Mohun Bagan defence as Punjab started to put on pressure in the The Mariners box.

Mohun Bagan were again saved by a goal line clearance by Hector Yuste as the Spaniard was in the right position to deny Dimitrios Chatziisaias after Vishal Kaith failed to grab on to a Madih Talal free kick. Mohun Bagan were hanging on to the one goal lead as Punjab were pushing for the equalizer. Vishal Kaith saved an effort from Wilmar Jordan again to maintain the lead. Mohun Bagan saw off the rest of the match to keep their title hopes alive.

Punjab FC remained in tenth position in the table with 21 points from 21 matches while Mohun Bagan Super Giant jumped to second with 42 points from 20 points. Punjab FC will face East Bengal in their final match of the season on April 10 th at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.

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