Mohun Bagan beat TRAU 3-1, an inch closer to the second I-League title
IMPHAL: the giants of Calcutta Mohun Bagan approached a second I-League title with a convincing 3-1 victory over debutants Tiddim Road Athletic Union ( TRAU ) FC on Sunday.
Spaniard Fran González (14 minutes) scored his tenth goal of the season, turning a penalty to top the scoring lists, while his compatriot Joseba Beitia (22) and Senegalese striker Papa Babacar Diawara (23) also found the net for the sailors.
The four goals came in the first half with Nigerian Joel Sunday (34th) pulling one back for the home team.
This was Mohun Bagan's seventh victory in the trot and extended his undefeated streak to 12 games. He also led them to 35 points after 14 games, which helped open a healthy 13-point lead over second place. Punjab FC .
TRAU, with 16 points from 15 games, remain locked in a relegation battle with city rivals Neroca FC and neighbors Aizawl FC .
As has been the norm recently, Mohun Bagan took the lead when Komron Tursunov was tried by Dhanchandra Meetei within the area. Gonzalez converted the resulting penalty with consummate ease.
In the 22nd minute, Beitia, doubled the lead with a delightful right-footed curler, which flummoxed Sayan Roy in the TRAU goal.
Just a minute later, Tursunov joined the party when I picked up an assist to put Papa Diawara on the ball inside the TRAU box. Holding off his marker with ease, the former Sevilla striker struck for the eighth time in eight games with a delectable finish across the face of Sayan Roy's goal.
Three down in the first 25 minutes, TRAU fought back admirably and Niger recruit Joseph Mayowa was behind at least three clear scoring chances, which the home side created in the next 15 minutes.
They managed to score one of them, when Mayowa took advantage of a mistake to get ahead.
Once inside the area, Mayowa beat Fran Morante and also goalkeeper Sankar Roy. The ball deviated from Morante's heels and was placed for Joel Sunday, who put it into an empty net for his first goal of the season.
Mohun Bagan started the second half with the clear intention of sitting down and holding on to his two goal advantage.
The hosts, although they did their best. Naocha had a shot in 68 that Sankar picked up easily and later in the game, he also received a header on target. Deepak Devrani got up to connect a header towards the goal, but they were too easy to pick up for the custodian of Mohun Bagan.
Tursunov received the marching order for a second reservation with the clock at a minute of the 70-minute mark, as visitors were forced to play the last 20 minutes with 10 men.
Nothing, however, changed TRAU's fortunes as Mohun Bagan held on.