ISL 2023/24 – Mohun Bagan keep their dreams of winning the Shield alive by securing a win against Punjab FC


As the Hero ISL is coming to an end, fans are witnessing teams do their best to secure results and better their positions. On Saturday, Mohun Bagan did the same when they kept their hopes of winning the Shield alive by beating Punjab FC in the capital. However, this win from the Kolkata-based side also meant that Punjab wouldn’t be able to finish in the top six this season.

Overall, the game between the two sides wasn’t the most interesting encounter. While Mohun Bagan had the ball for most of the match, they were only able to score a single goal. On the other hand, Punjab FC as expected struggled to keep the ball with them, and could only secure three shots on goal. Overall, it was Punjab FC’s attack that let them down against Mohun Bagan.

Mohun Bagan players celebrating their goal against Punjab FC in the Hero ISL
Mohun Bagan players celebrating their goal against Punjab FC in the Hero ISL

The game began with Mohun Bagan showing a lot of intent. In the first 20 minutes of the match, the Kolkata-based team did well to pass the ball and create chances. The offensive trio of Dimitrios Petratos, Armando Sadiku, and Jason Cummings provided plenty of threat to Punjab’s defense. Petratos especially looked in great touch as he tested Punjab’s goalkeeper Ravi Kumar on multiple occasions.

However, it was only in the 42nd minute that the Australian player broke the deadlock and gave The Mariners the lead. The goal scored by Petratos was rather interesting as a blocked shot from Mohun Bagan captain Subhashish Bose found its way to Jason Cummings, who beautifully set up Petratos to score his ninth goal of the ISL season. With this goal, Mohun Bagan ended the first half with a lead.

Punjab FC tried to comeback in the second half of this ISL encounter but failed

While many expected The Mariners to score more in the second half, it was Punjab FC who did their best to find an equalizer. The duo of Wilmar Jordan Gill and Luka Majcen worked very hard to level the scores for the North Indian team. On various occasions, Gill and Majcen looked to set each other up, but their efforts went in vain as Mohun Bagan’s defense came prepared and didn’t let a goal pass.

Wilmar Jordan Gill in action during Punjab FC's ISL match
Wilmar Jordan Gill in action during Punjab FC’s ISL match

Overall, even though the team could not score more goals, Antonio Habas should be a happy man given his side is still in the race to clinch the League Winner’s Shield. Punjab FC manager, Staikos Vergetis, on the other hand, will be disappointed as his team are now in 11th position in the ISL. In the 21 games Punjab has played, they could only secure five wins, and this is certainly not the way Vergetis would have wanted the season to go.

In their next encounter, Punjab will end their debut ISL Campaign against East Bengal. Even though a win might not help Punjab finish in the top six, it will help them boost their morale. With only five wins in the entire competition, Punjab certainly hasn’t had the best of seasons. Hence, any consolation they get in their game against East Bengal would be worth it to them. However, having said that beating the team from Kolkata won’t be easy even though they haven’t had the best of seasons.

Mohun Bagan on the other hand will travel to Bangalore, as they are set to take on Bengaluru FC. While this game will be extremely important, their match after Bangalore is even more important as the team is set to host Mumbai City FC. If The Mariners aspire to win the Shield, it will be crucial for them to get results in both these matches. Ahead of these games, Antonio Habas will look to do everything in his power to keep his men ready as he looks to guide Bangalore to their first-ever shield.

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Varun Anand Bhat
Varun Anand Bhat
Varun Anand Bhat is a Sports Journalist with three years of experience under his belt. Throughout his career, Varun has covered several sports, but football remains his specialty. Having played the sport, Varun has the ability to analyze and write about games. He also has immense love and passion for Indian Football.

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