On Saturday in Kolkata, Mohun Bagan Super Giant began their title defence with a 3-1 victory over Punjab FC in the Indian Super League. Jason Cummings (ninth) and Dimitri Petratos (34th) goals in the first half gave Mohun Bagan a 2-0 lead over the I-League-relegated team.
Glan Martins’s clumsy back pass after the turnover allowed Luka Majcen (53rd) to score a goal.
However, it was not enough, as Mohun Bagan opened the season with a resounding victory via India forward Manvir Singh (63rd).
Petratos used a pass from Liston Colaco before firing a left-footed shot into the bottom right corner. Cummings gave the Mariners an early advantage with a left-footed strike from the right side of the six-yard box, assisted by India midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad.
Minutes after being substituted for Subhasish Bose, Manvir used a Petratos cross to send a powerful right-footed shot into the upper left corner.
The match was delayed by 35 minutes to prevent broadcasting issues caused by the interruption of the first match of the day between Odisha FC and Chennaiyin FC due to inclement weather.
In order to circumvent a scheduling conflict, the second game of the Saturday doubleheader was delayed by 35 minutes.
Odisha FC triumph
Jerry Mawihmingthanga and Diego Mauricio scored in each half to help Odisha FC begin their Indian Super League season with a 2-0 victory over Chennaiyin FC on Saturday. Odisha appeared to have seamlessly adopted new head coach Sergio Lobera’s philosophy from the outset.
They held the majority of possession and kept probing the Chennaiyin defence with fluid offensive movements, but neither team came close to breaking the deadlock until 45 minutes into the match, when Jerry broke the deadlock thanks to some remarkable coordination up front.
Samik Mitra failed to correctly manage a long-range effort, which landed at the feet of Amey Ranawade on the right side of the 18-yard box.
Jerry received a pass from Ranawade, spun quickly, and fired a left-footed shot into the lower right corner of the goal to give the Juggernauts a crucial halftime advantage.
Shortly after the interval, Chennaiyin came close to tying the game. In the 56th minute, the duo of Lazar Cirkovic and Connor Shields fought through a corner kick.
Amrinder Singh, the custodian for Odisha, led a tenacious backline that prevented the visitors from scoring.
As the second half progressed, Lobera bolstered Odisha’s attack by substituting Brazilian forward Mauricio for Jiteshwor Singh.
Mauricio, the previous ISL season’s co-leading scorer, capitalised on a defensive error by Ankit Mukerjee to score the night’s second goal for the host team.
Mauricio calmly placed the ball into the back of the net after rounding Mitra to intercept Mukherjee’s errant back pass.
The Juggernauts grew in confidence in the final 20 minutes of the match, when they tested the Chennaiyin defence quite closely.
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Isak Vanlalruatfela came close to extending the advantage in the 73rd minute, but his effort went just wide of the goalpost.
A few minutes later, the imposing defender Mourtada Fall leaped high in a confined area but ended up sending the ball narrowly wide.