National

Kromah stands in way of Bagan’s first win of season

Kolkata : Former striker Ansumana Kromah will stand in the way of Mohun Bagan’s maiden win of the season when the Kolkata giants take on Aizawl FC in the I-League match here Saturday.

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Once a vital cog in the Mariners attack, the Liberian became out of favour with the Shankarlal Chakraborty side because of his ‘bad influence’ on the team.

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Donning the Peerless SC colours, Kromah headlined the recently-concluded Calcutta Football League by becoming the top-scorer with 11 goals that helped his side finish runner-up.

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Kromah also scored a stoppage time goal to deny Mohun Bagan a victory and followed it up with a muted celebration. The 26-year-old playmaker will again look to prove a point against his former team.

Mohun Bagan, who are playing their first home game of the season, will eye victory with the crowd behind them. They were held to 1-1 draw by Gokulam FC.

Aizawl FC, on the other hand, have lost their first encounter of the season against Shillong Lajong FC 1-2 in a match Kromah scored from a penalty.

Kromah can start as an attacking midfielder, as a striker and can be lethal from the left wing and his inside knowledge of Mohun Bagan’s strategies and tactics will also be a key factor.

All eyes in the match will be on Mohun Bagan’s fan favourite Sony Norde, who is likely to start after clearing a fitness test.

The Haitian, who played an instrumental role in their I-League triumph in 2015, has completed the signing formalities this morning and will be back in the reckoning after an injury-laden last season.

Norde played for about an hour in a practice match against Kalighat on Thursday and he is all set to be back, making a formidable attacking line-up alongside Dipanda Dicka and Henry Kisekka.

The pressure will be on Mohun Bagan with arch-rivals East Bengal notching two back-to-back wins.

Aizawl coach Gift Raikhan did an exceptional job with debutants NEROCA FC in the last season, guiding them to a second spot finish, but he has a new challenge to prove for the 2016-17 champions.

PTI

2/11/2018

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