Bagan bow to Salgaocar in first tie on return

Back in I-League action after AIFF’s decision to revoke a two-year ban, Mohun Bagan began their campaign on a disastrous note losing 0-2 to Salgaocar, here on Sunday.

Played amid heavy security and with policemen guarding the team benches, Salgaocar scored through their foreign recruits Gabriel Obatola and Josimar da Silva, to move out of the relegation zone. It was also an embarrassing defeat for Karim Bencharifa, who had dumped the Goan outfit midway into its season after getting a lucrative offer from the Kolkata giants.

Starting with a clean slate, Bagan failed to open their points tally and now have 15 matches to save relegation.

Salgaocar fielded three foreigners to pull themselves out of the relegation zone and they did well with Gabriel Obatola and Josimar scoring a goal each.

Salgaocar had a chance to surge ahead in the 12th minute itself when Gilbert Oliveira’s cross was handled inside the danger zone by Bagan defender Eche and referee Andrew Shekhar awarded a spot-kick.

Obatola, Salgaocar’s new Nigerian striker, stepped up, sent the goalkeeper the wrong way but the ball sailed out much to the disappointment of the packed crowd.

It was Obatola, however, who made amends and put Salgaocar ahead in the 35th minute after Josimar Martins had done extremely well to create panic in the Bagan defence with a superb run.

Salgaocar’s second goal came in the 62nd minute through Josimar.

Arrows edge Lajong

Pailan Arrows returned to winning ways with a 1-0 win over Lajong FC in Kolkata. Prabir Das netted the winner in the 39th minute. Pune FC and Sporting Clube de Goa played out a goalless draw in another tie in Pune.

Saturday’s results: East Bengal: 0 lt to Churchill Brothers: 3 (Henry Antchouet 34, 45+2; Akram Moghrabi 82nd); Dempo: 7 (Joaquim Abranches 5th; Clifford Miranda 35th, 77th;  Koko Sakibo 56th, 59th, 90+4; Joy Ferrao 84th) bt United Sikkim FC: 0; Mumbai FC: 2 (Gabriel Fernandes 30th; Bello Rasaq OG 50th) bt Prayag United: 1 (CK Vineeth 47th).

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