AFC Cup 2016 Group G leaders Mohun Bagan could only manage a 1-1 draw against Yangon United in their return leg fixture of the competition Wednesday afternoon at the Youth Training Centre in Yangon. Adilson scored the opening goal of the match for the hosts while Cornell Glen cancelled it out just minutes later.
The Mariners now have ten points with two more games to go in the group stages of the competition this year.
The first half was very evenly poised, even though the teams had to work hard to come out as the best amid sweltering heat. Apart from two goals in the half, we also saw a water break around the 30-minute mark. Yangon, looking to start business straightaway, didn't waste any time in keeping the Bagan defence uneasy.
The likes of Kway Ko Ko and Kyi Lin made sure that Mohun Bagan don't get an early lead this time around. The duo terrorised the Bagan defence while Brazilians Marcelo Fernandes and Adilson kept pulling the triggers on goal. Adilson got the opener for the home side at the 26th minute mark after he was fed with a precise through ball by Ko Ko from the wings.
Adilson's shot on goal was just out of reach for Bagan custodian Arnab Das Sharma, playing his first game in the calendar year.
The positive thing about the away side was that in the absence of star winger Sony Norde and with a goal-down, they didn't back down. Lenny Rodrigues gets a perfect pat on his back for his vision to find Cornell Glen amid the Yangon defence and play a defence-splitting from the centre of the field to assist the equaliser of the game in the 42nd minute.
Glen used all his experience to get past the back two of the home side and slot it in the net comfortably.
Dhanachandra Singh and Das Sharma played a good role at the back for the away side as well to thwart many chances from the home team. There was moment where Yangon could have gone 2-0 up as Ko Ko hit the upright of the goal; the ball was grasped instantly by the 28-year-old Das Sharma at rebound.
The second half displayed the brilliance of Das Sharma in the goal for Mohun Bagan. Time and again, the 28-year-old custodian from Howrah displayed his reflexes and aerial abilities to prevent one shot after another from Yangon United. From David Htan to Adilson to the ever-hardworking Ko Ko, Das Sharma made one save after another to give the home side the vital lead.
Ko Ko and Kyin kept troubling the Bagan defence but the likes of Luciano Sobrosa, Raju Gaekwad and Dhanachandra made sure they didn't concede the second goal of the match. There was a bright chance for Sobrosa to score the winner at the dying minutes of the game but his shot of the ball, after a wonderful cross from Katsumi Yusa, was way over the goal.