Mohun Bagan Crush East Bengal 3-1, Seal ISL Playoff Berth

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    Mohun Bagan produced one of their finest displays of the season to crush arch-rivals 3-1 in their Indian Super League return leg clash at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday. Cleiton Silva missed from the spot in the 14th minute but since then it was a one-way traffic for Mohun Bagan who scored the goals through Jason Cummings (27th minute), Liston Colaco (36th) and Dimitri Petratos (penalty – 45 3′) to cruise to 3-0 lead at the half time break. Saul Crespo (53rd) struck his maiden goal of the Indian Super League to pull one back for East Bengal but Mohun Bagan were back at their dominant best and ensured that there was no more blip to hold on to the 3-1 scoreline.

    The win took Mohun Bagan past Mumbai City in the lead spot of the standings on goal difference and to the playoff spot.

    Both sides now have 36 points each but Mohun Bagan have one match in hand and remain firm favourties for the Shield.

    With the loss, East Bengal are out of play-off race.

    Mohun Bagan had an early chance in the 8th minute when Petratos slotted a cross in for an unmarked Cummings from the left, but his header was wayward.

    In the 13th minute, East Bengal were awarded a penalty after Vishal Kaith tripped Cleiton who had the ball possession. But as it turned out, Kaith produced a beauty of a save, outstretched to his left to save the Cleiton spotkick.

    Out of nowhere, Cummings found himself in perfect position from the edge of the box to score from a rebound off East Bengal goalkeeper to give Mohun Bagan the much-needed lead.

    It was Joni Kauko who initiated the move from the midfield before Sahal took the possesion but a misclearance from an East Bengal defender saw the ball in the path of Petratos.

    The Australian was quick to fire the shot but only to be pushed away by a diving goalkeeper. Cummings was quick to take control of the ball and score off a right-footed strike to the top left corner.

    Within 10 minutes, Colaco extended Mohun Bagan lead in a similar fashion like the previous one. This time the ball ricochetted off the post from a Petratos strike only to come back to him again.

    The Australian then gave it back to an unmarked Colaco on the far post with a first touch as the Indian midfielder does the needful to give Mohun Bagan a 2-0 lead.

    Sahal was tripped by Nandha Kumar in the first-half injury time as Mohun Bagan got another penalty and this time Petratos got it right to make it 3-0 at halftime. PTI TAP PDS PDS

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