Score : 0 - 0
Team: Sangram Mukherjee, Jewel Raja, Rahim Nabi, Snehashish Chakraborty, Manish Maithani, Surkumar Singh, Sourav Chakraborty, Rakesh Masih, Anwar Ali, Odafa Okolie, Ashim Biswas,
Replacements: Sourav Chakraborty ( out - 43 ), Dhanarajan ( in - 43 ), Snehashish Chakraborty ( out - 53 ), Gouranga Dutta ( in - 53 ), Jewel Raja ( out - 70 ), Jose Ramirez Barreto ( in - 70 ),
McDowell Mohun Bagan held by Salgaocar to a goalless draw (MMB v/s Salgaocar)22-Dec, 2011
Kolkata , 22-Dec, 2011 :
McDowell Mohun Bagan was held to a goalless draw today by Salgaocar in an I-League match played at the Salt Lake Stadium. Although Mariners comparatively played good football today, as also, in the last match, both the matches against Goan teams ended in a draw. Odafa played his heart out and was instrumental in most of the moves made by the Mariners,however like the last match,today he was guilty of missing a chance along with Ashim Biswas. Even Salgaocar coach Karim Bencharifa praised Odafa's effort in the match. On many occasions, he was seen falling back on the midfield to create some moves; twice did he nicely snatch the ball from the opponent players in front of the McDowell Mohun Bagan box.
Technical Director took a gamble by using unfit Jose Barreto for the last 20 minutes today as an attacking medio, but he could not play to his potential. Using him in the forward line with Odafa Okolie and pushing back Ashim to midfield would have been a better option. Manish Maithani was in very good form today. At this point, either Manish or Jewel should have played as attacking medios. Even Rakesh Masih impressed on the defense line, as he was quite successful in marking Edeh Chidi. Selecting Edeh Chidi as the Man of the Match was a shocking decision; it should have been given to either Luciano Sobrosa or Karanjit Singh or Rahim Nabi or Manish Maithani. Regarding Barreto, Prashanta Banerjee said, "Jose Barreto was not completely fit today, we took a bit of risk by using him for the last 20 minutes." Salgaocar coach said, "If someone gives me the option of using one-quarter fit Barreto, I will grab the opportunity with both hands, because he is a match winner. He can turn around a match at any moment."
Technical Director Subrata Bhattacharya made two changes in the starting lineup. N. P. Pradeep and Kingshuk Debnath who missed today's match because of yellow card suspension, were replaced by Sourav Chakraborty and Ashim Biswas. Sangram, the resident goalkeeper, backed a defense lineup consisting of Anwar Ali and Rakesh Masih at the center and Surkumar Singh and Sourav Chakraborty on right and left back, respectively. In the midfield, Rahim Nabi and Snehasish Chakraborty were in charge of both the flanks, while Jewel Raja and Manish Maithani played in the central midfield. Ashim Biswas and Odafa Okolie were the two strikers.
Mariners looked in a positive frame of mind from the start. Odafa Okolie evaded his marker and took an angular shot from outside the box which was partially saved by Karanjit Singh, but Ashim Biswas failed to put the rebound ball inside goal. Minutes later, Ishfaq Ahmed made a good run down the left side and from his cross, Chidi's weak left-footed shot went out.
Mariners came close to scoring in the 16th minute. Nabi initiated the move and from Ashim's cross, Snehasish headed the ball towards Odafa, who brilliantly received the ball, went past a player but his last touch betrayed him as the ball went out of his control and the goalkeeper had no problem to collect the ball.
From Nabi's low cross, unmarked Jewel Raja's shot went straight to the goalkeeper. Odafa gave a brilliant through pass towards Ashim Biswas, but Luciano's brilliant tackle averted the danger for the away team.
The best move of the half came in the 30th minute. Odafa snatched the ball from Tomba Singh in front of the McDowell Mohun Bagan box. He made a brilliant down-the-middle run, effected a wall pass with Manish and unleashed a powerful shot from outside the box which was saved by Karanjit Singh for corner.
Chidi missed an easy chance when his header from Sueoka's cross went out. Sueoka made a good attack down the left side, dodged past Surkumar and cracked a right footed shot which narrowly missed the target, though Sangram had the post well covered.
Ashim then switched positions with Nabi as the latter played ahead for the last 10 minutes of the first half. Sangram missed the flight in the 40th minute and almost caused danger but luckily Chidi completely miscued his header.
In the 43rd minute, Dhanarajan replaced an injured Sourav Chakraborty.
At the commencement of the second half, once again Odafa was in the thick of action. This time, he snatched the ball from Chidi in his own half but unfortunately got a bit injured in the process, though he managed to play for the entire 90 minutes.
Ashim's cross from the left side found Rahim Nabi but he failed to head the ball properly.
Technical Director Subrata Bhattacharya brought in Gouranga Dutta in place of Snehasish Chakraborty in the 53rd minute who looked out of form today. Rahim Nabi moved to the left half while Gouranga Dutta played on right wing.
Odafa Okolie and Chidi Edeh fired a few powerful ones but neither of those could trouble the respective goalkeepers.
Amidst huge cheers from the crowd, Jose Barreto came in place of Jewel Raja in the 70th minute. The Nabi-Ashim combination almost paved way for a goal in the 82nd minute. Getting a long ball from Anwar Ali, Rahim Nabi delivered a brilliant cross from the right flank which Ashim Biswas met spectacularly with a forward leap, but Karanjit Singh made a stunning save by throwing his body towards the right.
Towards the fag end of the match, Dhanarajan was a bit slow to react and Anthony Barbosa got the opportunity to take a crisp right footed shot which Sangram saved skillfully by stretching his body to the right. Alert Anwar Ali cleared the ball out for corner. Jose Barreto nicely cleared the ball to avert danger from corner.
After the match, coach Prashanta Banerjee said, "The main factor which goes against us is that in every match we miss a few key players of the team either due to injury or card suspension. Hopefully, Lima will be able to play in the next match. Odafa tried his best today. He took a couple of good shots but those were nicely saved by the Salgaocar goalkeeper."
Odafa Okolie is a Nigerian footballer who joined McDowell Mohun Bagan at...