After beating champions Bengaluru FC by a 5-0 margin, Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen lamented at what he thought were a massive 60 seconds in which Bagan threw away the league. The Mariners lost to East Bengal in the derby and followed it up with a draw against Shillong Lajong to lose ground.
“Even in the I-League, maximum goals have been scored by Mohun Bagan, least goals conceded by Mohun Bagan, but we have lost more than Bengaluru FC. They have won 10 but we have won eight. However, we have lost only twice, they have lost four. 60 seconds made us lose the league. Call it a case of bad fortune or a mishap in our case, 40 seconds against East Bengal followed by 20 seconds against Lajong saw us being pushed out of contention for the title,” reasoned Sen.
But last night’s thumping did please the coach. “A win was very important. After failing to win the last four matches, we lost momentum. It was a tough match for us as we were down on confidence. Credit to the boys who came out of their shell and won by such a margin. We have the AFC Cup to focus on next. Also, whatever we could have done is a different issue altogether but we can target to win the Federation Cup.
“The strategy was to attack. The way we play by holding the ball in midfield and then spreading it out to the wings, we have proved that with this style the opposition, including the ones we faced in Asia, gets on the backfoot. Look at the AFC Cup matches we have played, there has never been a margin of just one goal; always three and four,” continued the coach.
Azharuddin scored the side’s 4th goal in their win last night and the youngster’s rise has not surprised Sen. “I have always backed Azhar because he is very talented. If no one scores, I always wish that the boy scores and I was overjoyed when he got his goal today. Azharuddin came into the squad with the burden of carrying the Mohun Bagan crest on his chest and he has proven that it was not too heavy for him.
“I am guilty of not playing him for the whole duration of the match. I told him that he will play for 90 minutes but Glen had got two and if he got a hat-trick, he could have become the highest scorer in the league. So I got Jeje (Lalpekhlua) in to support him,” concluded the gaffer.