ISL 2023-24 || Mohun Bagan end wait for ISL Shield with dominating win

The footballers in the middle of the action. Source (Image: ISL)

Antonio Lopez Habas and his Mohun Bagan SG squad avenged their past defeats against Mumbai City FC in the ISL Shield decider and the ISL final three years ago. As icing on the cake, it came in front of a capacity crowd at Salt lake Stadium, who watched their favourite team secure a 2-1 win.

Liston Colaco scored an impeccable goal in the first half. Jason Cummings netted a stunner in the second half to seal victory for the Mariners. The home team capitalised on the support of the full house of 62,000 and delivered a superlative performance against the two-time Shield winners.

The Shield is given to the ISL round-robin toppers. Mohun Bagan had to win this match to clinch it. This also helped Mohun Bagan qualify for the group stage of the AFC Champions League 2.

In the 20th minute, Liston came close to opening the scoring, when Anirudh Thapa found him inside the six-yard box with a curling cross. Despite having no marker, Liston’s header was deflected off the side post.

Eight minutes later, Liston redeemed himself with an impeccable strike after Dimi Petratos picked him out on the left flank. The Goan winger dribbled past his marker and cut inside the box before curling the ball into the top right corner of the goal, beating a fully stretched Lachengpa.

At the stroke of halftime, Lallianzuala Chhangte of Mumbai came close, but failed to connect with George Pereyra Diaz’s low cross from the right side of the box. Mumbai launched a relentless series of attacks after the break, with forwards Chhangte, Bipin Singh and Alberto Noguera making life difficult for Mohun Bagan’s defenders.

Mohun Bagan coach Antonio Lopez Habas quickly switched to a defensive ploy by substituting Deepak Tangri and Brendan Hamill for Abhishek Suryavanshi and Joni Kauko. It was evident from the move that Mohun Bagan had adopted a defensive approach to blunt Mumbai’s attack.

The hosts sealed the victory in the 80th minute, when second-half substitute Cummings dribbled past his marker inside the box and found the bottom left corner, sending the packed stands into ecstasy. Though Lallianzuala Chhangte reduced the deficit in the 89th minute from Apuia’s pass, but Mohun Bagan held their nerves until the final whistle to seal the game.

KL Rahul, Mayank Yadav and Jonty Rhodes of the Lucknow Super Giants IPL franchise were in attendance to witness Mohun Bagan’s win. The only bitter pill for Mohun Bagan was Hamill’s expulsion. The Australian defender was sent off for his confrontation with the Mumbai players.