City football giants Mohun Bagan will aim to record their first win when they take on Aizawl FC in an I-League encounter at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Friday. Mohun Bagan were held 1-1 by Gokulam Kerala in their season opener in Kozhikode. A dominant first half followed by a lacklustre performance after the break summed up the green and maroon brigade’s first match of the season. Also Read - Mohun Bagan Clear Dues of Players, Coaches And Support Staff
The loss of two points, especially after taking the lead through a first-half goal by Henry Kisekka, will have hurt the Mohun Bagan supporters who would have expected their new-look team to beat Bino George’s side. To add insult to injury, arch-rivals East Bengal have won their opening two games and sit pretty at the top of the table. On Saturday, Mohun Bagan will look to the front pair of Henry Kisekka and Aser Dipanda to deliver the goods upfront. The duo has shown good co-ordination and their verve will give confidence to the rest of the team. Also Read - Former Mohun Bagan Coach Subrata Bhattacharyya on Sunil Chhetri's First Impression, Says 'He Was Short, Didn’t Think he Could Score'
Aizawl have a lot of speed in their ranks and to keep them at bay, the home team’s defensive pairing of Lalchhawnkima and Kingsley Eze will need to step up their game. Omar Elhussieny and Sourav Das looked two completely different players before and after the restart in Kozhikode. They bossed the midfield for 45 minutes but looked out of depth towards the end. Also Read - COVID-19: Mohun Bagan Club Tent to Reopen on June 15
Therefore, dominance in midfield will be crucial to Mohun Bagan’s outcome against an Aizawl side full of desire. Aizawl lost to Shillong Lajong in their opener but in that game, Lajong were brilliant, to say the least, and two good goals from Naorem Mahesh Singh overshadowed the fight put forth by Aizawl.
Gift Raikhan’s wards will have studied the Mohun Bagan team and their ploy would be to put their rivals’ backline to the test once again. Against Gokulam Kerala, Mohun Bagan defence crumbled when their opponents took the game to them. Aizawl’s Ansumana Kromah and Co. would look to do the same.