The formation remained the same but the injured Julen Colinas was replaced by the signing of the season- Baba Diawara.
He shifted to his favoured no. 9 role and Suhair moved to the right. Also the sturdy Punjabi left back Gurjinder Singh, who was not that comfortable pushing up with the ball, was replaced by the 2015-16 I league winner for Mohunbagan, Dhanachandra Singh. He was now fit to go.
Debjit Majumdar’s repeated errors made way for the short statured but excellent with the feet, Sankar Roy under the goal. All these changes made the system function like never before and Mohunbagan embarked on their winning streak.
By this time the attackers knew they have to get in the half space by using quick exchange or thirdman moves rather than zone 14 which was heavily guarded. A lot of their goals came of crosses from the half spaces. With Diawara, Gonzalez and Morante in the box, they became a huge aerial threat in the box thanks to the pinpoint accurate deliveries by Joseba Beitia in setpiece.
In defense, a clean tackler and game reader like Morante was given an advanced role to leave his line and win balls while Cyrus stayed deep as sweeper.Baba Diwara thrived gracefully as a finisher and they were off and running. The title was coming closer every passing game, they just had to keep up the momentum.
A sudden injury of Cyrus caused the formation to change to 4-4-2, with Suhair again going back to being striker and Komron Tursunov taking his place in the right flank. Fran Gonzalez was the one who moved to the defence.
This had both pro’s and con’s
Previously Gonzalez left his place in midfield to drop and collect balls during the build up, now he has to do it from the back itself, causing Beitia to drop in his position in the midfield two, leaving his advanced position and making it easy for opposition to mark him and Sahil more.
Sahil had the job to press high whenever his teammates lost the ball in the opposition third and this opened up a lots of space behind him with Gonzalez in the defence and Beitia instinctively taking part in buildup.
Komron was excellent and despite some problems here and there, they continued winning and finally the moment came when Baba Diawara drived past a layoff from Beitia to clinch the title for Mohunbagan. It was a glorious spectacle in the Kalyani Stadium.
So to define “Vicunaball” we can say it is a “Direct Possessional style with a zonal aggressive pressing”. A brand of football that was loved by fans, appreciated by critics and the style that gave the team an identity. Wherever Kibu is heading next, he will definitely look to continue the style. The only question that now remains is — can the tactical sensation set the ‘”Vicunaball” rolling once again in the next season? Only time is going to answer that one!