I-League: Mohun Bagan shows his class in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: The stage was set for Real Kashmir to make his fans happy, in search of much-needed relief from life's difficulties. But in front of a crowded gallery on a very cold Sunday afternoon, Mohun Bagan offered an absolute master class to beat Real Kashmir and reach the top of the table. The greens and maroons now have 10 points in five games, while Kashmir is seventh with five of four.

It is a joy to see Mohun Bagan play so well and win in these difficult conditions. As much as I am cashmere, a victory for Bagan makes me as happy as it was during my game days, ā€¯former Mohun Bagan midfielder Abdul Majid, who was in the galleries, told TOI.

There was expectation between the Kashmir fan base and the full galleries must have been a bit intimidating for Bagan after organizers announced on Saturday that only 1,500 tickets had been released. But the giants of Kolkata were not mistaken in the course of the 90 minutes and it can be said comfortably that this was one of their bravest performances since that night of May 31, 2015 against Bengaluru FC when they won the I-League .

While there were many heroes for Bagan on the day, Spanish attacking midfielder Joseba Beitia was simply outstanding. It wasn't just the first goal he scored in the 71st minute, Nongdamba Naorem hit the second two minutes later, it was the dominant display of the Spaniard in the preparatory zone that put Kashmir on the right foot from the start.

Beitia, who was struggling with a new pair of boots on the eve of the match, was brilliant with her distribution, combining magnificently with the occasionally overlapping Ashutosh Singh, forward Naorem and Senegalese striker Papa Diawara, who was making his debut for Bagan.