McDowell Mohun Bagan 4 (Christopher 20, 45+1, Malik 51, Odafa 73)
United SC 0
KOLKATA: A brace from debutante Christopher Chizoba inspired McDowell Mohun Bagan to a 4-0 thumping win over United SC in the round 13 clash of the Airtel I-League at the Salt Lake Stadium on Friday evening.
Christopher scored twice in the first half while Ram Malik and Odafa Okolie increased Mohun Bagan’s advantage in the second period with United SC goalkeeper Ishan Debnath being taken to the hospital after suffering a serious injury towards the end of the game.
The result ends Mohun Bagan’s five-match winless streak and moves them up to seventh in the table while United SC suffered their third defeat of this campaign.
It was a very even contest in the early stages with ball possession similar and hardly any clear cut chances. The first real attempt on goal came from Mohun Bagan’s Manish Bhargav, who cut in from the left flank and rattled the bar with a right-footed effort.
At the other United SC’s Syrian defender Hassan Moustafa failed to hit the target despite getting a free header following an Eric Brown freekick.
Mohun Bagan went in front in the 20th minute when Christopher was given the time and space to shoot from outside the box and the Nigerian’s shot gave Debnath no chance. It was Mohun Bagan’s first goal in four matches and made Christopher an instant hero among the supporters.
United SC coach Eelco Schattorie made a double change in the first half itself but his side couldn’t come back into the match and found themselves 2-0 down just before the interval. Odafa held up the ball well before playing Christopher clean through on goal and the debutant rounded Debnath before finding the back of the net.
Mohun Bagan’s new signing from Peerless couldn’t have wished for a better debut and things got better for the Mariners at the start of the second period as young Ram Malik netted the third.
Some nice interplay between Odafa and Katsumi Yusa saw the latter set up Malik and the starlet slotted home to virtually seal the points.
United SC pushed hard for a goal but star striker Ranti Martins had another quiet outing with midfielder Souvik Chakraborty going the closest although he failed to hit the target from promising positions.
The only thing missing from Mohun Bagan’s performance was a goal for Odafa and that also arrived in the 73rd minute when Malik broke the offside trap and crossed for the club captain who headed home from close range to open his account for the new season.
United SC couldn’t find a consolation goal and lost their keeper Debnath through a serious injury. Schattorie had already made three substitutions and thus Moustafa filled in at goal for the final few minutes.