Score : 2 - 2
Team: Anwar Ali, Sunil Chhetri, Odafa Okolie, Kingshuk Debnath, Manish Maithani, N. P. Pradeep, Rahim Nabi, Rakesh Masih, Snehashish Chakraborty, Shilton Paul, Surkumar Singh,
MB Goals: Manish Maithani ( 20 min ), Odafa Okolie ( 60 min ).
Opp Goals: Manandeep ( 21 min ), Manandeep ( 39 min ).
MB Cards : Anwar Ali ( 30 min ) .
Replacements: N. P. Pradeep ( out - 62 ), Ashim Biswas ( in - 62 ), Snehashish Chakraborty ( out - 75 ), Manish Bhargav ( in - 75 ),
Mariners held by Air India to a 2-2 draw27-Mar, 2012
McDowell Mohun Bagan today lost 2 vital points in the I league when they were held by Air India to a 2-2 draw in a match played in Balewadi Stadium, Pune. Mariners were down by 1-2 at the lemon break and came back strongly in 2nd half to score the equalizing goal, but a flurry of missed chances did not help their cause. Sunil Chhetri alone missed a couple of sitters while Rakesh Masih was guilty of missing the easiest chance of the match.
Technical Director Subrata Bhattacharya made 2 changes in the starting lineup from the last Kolkata League match against Aryan. Sunil Chhetri replaced Jose Barreto while Rahim Nabi played in place of Deepak in the left back position.
In the very 1st minute of the match, Odafa showed good skills as he dribbled past a couple of defenders but his left footed shot went straight to goalkeeper. Minutes later from Snehasish's pass, Odafa unleashed another shot but this time it got blocked by Lamine Tamba.
Odafa Okolie once again was in the thick of action but this time his shot from Sunil's pass sailed over the target.
Air India made few good moves but Rahim Nabi and Anwar Ali averted danger. Within quick succession, Air India earned 3 corners.
From counter attack, Odafa released the ball towards Manish Maithani at edge of the opponent box. Manish's right footed shot took a deflection off Tamba's leg and went to the back of the net, giving Mariners the lead in the 20th minute.
Air India equalized in the very next minute. Air India attacking force caught McDowell Mohun Bagan defence napping. Prakash sent a cross from the right flank but Anwar instead of heading the ball out of play, preferred to head the ball within his own box and unmarked Manandeep Singh's bicycle kick went inside goal.
In the 33rd minute, getting a pass from Sunil, Odafa nicely got past 3 defenders but his left footed shot went straight to goalkeeper. Surkumar Singh tried a left footed after going past 2 defenders, but once again Pawan Kumar had no problem to collect the ball.
Air India took the lead in the 39th minute. Prakash easily got past Kingshuk Debnath but luckily for Mariners his shot hit the post and the rebound ball came to Manandeep Singh who dribbled past Surkumar Singh before taking a shot which hit Kingshuk's leg and deflected into the goal off Manandeep's leg.
Shilton Pal kept Mariners in the game when he made a good save in the 49th minute. Odafa took 2 back-to-back shots at Air India goal but both times the ball went out of target from acute angle.
Rakesh Masih missed the easiest chance of the match in the 59th minute. Odafa's shot took a deflection and went to totally unmarked Rakesh Masih who just needed to push the ball inside goal past goalkeeper, but he failed to trap the ball properly, thus a chance went abegging.
Odafa Okolie scored the equalizing goal in the 60th minute. Sunil Chhetri confused the Air India defence with a dummy run on a Surkumar cross which Odafa latched on to make the brilliant equalizer with his left foot.
N. P. Pradeep was replaced by Ashim Biswas in the 62nd minute. Manish Maithani switched position to central midfield while Ashim played in right flank.
Odafa came close to scoring twice but the first time his right footed shot narrowly missed the target while in the second chance the shot hit the crossbar, with goalkeeper having no chance to even move.
Luckily for Mariners, Manandeep's header from Collin Abranches' cross just went out.
Subrata Bhattacharya made the 2nd change in the 75th minute when Manish Bharghav replaced Snehasish Chakraborty. Ashim Biswas switched flanks and went to left flank while Manish Bharghav played as right half.
Manish Bharghav sent few good crosses from the right flank but those were not converted by Mariners' attacking force.
Sunil Chhetri missed a couple of very easy chances and once his attempted back volley almost went towards the corner flag.
In the last minute of the match, Shilton made another good save and denied Manandeep Singh from scoring a hattrick by diving forward and gathering the ball from his foot.
Mariners will be returning to Kolkata tomorrow. Their next I league match is against Dempo Sports Club on 1st April, the match will be played at 3:30 p.m.
Odafa Okolie is a Nigerian footballer who joined McDowell Mohun Bagan at...