mohun bagan
Jeje Lalpekhlua and Sony Norde are having a splendid season for Mohun BaganIANS

Star Indian forward Jeje Lalpekhlua and Haiti international Sony Norde helped Mohun Bagan earn all the three points against 10-man Bengaluru FC on Saturday at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.

The Mariners are now equal on points with archrivals East Bengal, with 14 points in the kitty, and the defending I-League champions also continued their undefeated run this season. Bengakuru FC, despite the defeat, stay top of the standings.

Two goals from the two stars in the second half deflated the home side completely, who failed to cope with Bagan after Lalchuanmawia was sent off just past the hour.

It was a tight battle in the first half, but the shots on goal kept coming in for both sides. The two big Indian names on the pitch -- Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua -- kept creating chances for Bengaluru FC and Mohun Bagan respectively.

The first chance of the game came for the visitors, as early as the second minute, as Kean Lewis played a great through ball to Yusa Katsumi, but the Japanese forward was not clinical enough. On the counter, Sunil Chhetri combined with Kim Song Yong for Bengaluru FC, but the North Korean was too late in pulling the trigger.

The Mohun Bagan defence, marshalled by Kinshuk Debnath, Raju Gaikwad and Luciano Sobrosa also remained resolute, as did John Johnson and Curtis Osano at the back for BFC.

Chhetri took two great shots on goal in the first half from outside the 18-yard box, and the strikes on goal from the Indian football team skipper were quite close to going in.

At the other end, Jeje, too, combined well with Cornell Glen, Katsumi and Sony Norde in the attacking third for Bagan, creating plenty of goalscoring opportunities.

The best shot of the goalless first half was a great effort from Kean Lewis in the 31st minute. BFC custodian Amrinder Singh had his goal covered, but even the former Pune FC man heaved a sigh of relief as the great individual effort from Lewis narrowly breezed past the goal.

The match wasn't destined to end goalless as Indian star forward Jeje, after Bengaluru FC went down to 10 men, finally struck in the second half to give the defending champions the 1-0 lead in the 75th minute, and thereon, the visitors upped the ante.

Kean Lewis and Yusa Katsumi started taking plenty of shots on goal and Amrinder Singh was soon out of his comfort zone. The likes of Glen and Norde too started troubling the Bengaluru FC defence, which was in sixes and sevens. Sanjoy Sen's side were enjoying the half as they had the lion's share of possession and the hosts were left frustrated.

Sony Norde decorated the icing on the cake for the visitors after leaving the BFC defence in shambles to fire the second of the night for Mohun Bagan.

John Johnson with a header and Beikokhei with a freekick at the death tried to get the consolation for the home team, but it was too late by then.

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