Mondal goal helps Prayag stun Bagan

Prayag United Sports Club dealt a big blow to Mohun Bagan’s title aspirations by notching up a 2-1 victory in their return leg I-League fixture at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Sunday.

Salgaocar’s Tomba Singh (right) tries to get past Lenny Rodrigues (centre) of Churchill Brothers as Ryuji Sueoka looks on during their I-League match on Sunday.

Kayne Vincent (16th) gave United SC the lead but Bagan hit back within three minutes, courtesy an Anwar Ali strike. Deepak Mondal then produced a powerful right-footer from 30 yards out that sealed Bagan’s fate, fetching Prayag their second win over fellow Kolkatans this season.

Prayag, who had beaten Bagan 3-2 in the first-leg, did well to mark goal machine Odafa Okolie while Ashim Biswas and Jose Barreto could not give the attack any sting.

With their second straight win, Prayag (28 points) displaced Bagan (27) from the fourth position.  It was the second straight loss for Mohun Bagan. Prayag started in attacking fashion and almost took the lead in the third minute when Yusif Yakubu’s header went wide. However, Vincent was spot on with his header off a James Singh corner in the 16th minute.

Bagan soon hit back through Ali who cashed in on a Bello Rasaq deflection for the equaliser.
After the break, Prayag kept the Bagan defence under pressure before Mondal’s long-ranger settled the issue in their favour.

In Shillong, two late strikes from Ranti Martins (88th, 90th) helped Dempo go three points clear at the top of the table with a 2-1 win over Shillong Lajong. Seikhohua Tuboi had opened the scoring for Lajong in the 81st minute before the double strike pegged them back. Dempo have 36 points from 16 games while Lajong are 10th with 17 points.

In Margao, the ever-improving Salgaocar scored an impressive 3-0 victory over local rivals Churchill Brothers. Goals from Ishfaq Ahmed (30th), Chidi Edeh (34th) and Ryuji Sueoka (84th) helped the defending champions take maximum points and pull within one point of their opponents.
Churchill are third with 29 points while Salgaocar climbed to fourth on 28 points.

In Pune, Air India drew Pune FC 2-2. Henry Ezeh (14th) and Takayuki Omi (62nd) found the mark for Air India while Shanmugam Venkatesh (76th) and Wali Chika (90th) scored for Pune.

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