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  Sports   Football  02 Apr 2017  I-League: Katsumi Yusa reignites Bagan’s title hopes

I-League: Katsumi Yusa reignites Bagan’s title hopes

Published : Apr 2, 2017, 1:58 am IST
Updated : Apr 2, 2017, 6:40 am IST

Bagan, crucially, have a game in hand, over the others. The defeat meant BFC stayed fifth with 18 points.

Mohun Bagan captain Katsumi Yusa.
 Mohun Bagan captain Katsumi Yusa.

New Delhi: Katsumi Yusa led from the front, scoring twice, to keep Mohun Bagan in the I-League title hunt with a resounding 3-0 victory over defending champions Bengaluru FC 3-0 at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium in Kolkata on Saturday.

Bagan skipper Yusa (14th, 52nd) scored on either side of Darryl Duffy’s 25th-minute header to stamp his authority on the contest that improved their points tally to 26 from 13 matches, a point behind second-placed East Bengal and four behind leaders Aizawl FC.

Bagan, crucially, have a game in hand, over the others. The defeat meant BFC stayed fifth with 18 points.

Their I-league hopes already over, BFC coach Albert Roca left skipper Sunil Chhetri on the bench with an eye on an important AFC Cup fixture against Maziya S&RC in Maldives on April 4, giving Malsawmzuala his first start of the season. Goalkeeper Amrinder Singh returned to the XI following a long injury layoff.

The game kicked off to even keel but Bagan stepped up the pressure soon after with Sony Norde leaving Sandesh Jhingan behind down the left flank. But Amrinder saved his cross.

Yusa had the first chance for Bagan, but the referee flagged his goal for offside.

The Japanese midfielder, however, made no mistake moments later, with a strong shot that Amrinder could only palm it into his own net.

Chasing the match, BFC kept ball possession in the midfield but were dealt a cruel blow when Scottish striker Duffy headed Norde’s swinging centre into the far corner.

Bereft of ideas in the first half, Bengaluru got the second off to a better start, pushing Bagan back and earning quick corners.

But a swift counter saw Bagan open up a 3-0 lead when Norde made a swift run down the middle before setting up Yusa who deftly placed his shot beyond Amrinder.

Bengaluru came close to finding the back of the net in the 65th minute only to be denied by the post as

Bagan keeper Debjit Majumdar palmed Mandar Rao Desai’s header away.

Tags: mohun bagan, i-league, katsumi yusa