Mohun Bagan registered a thrilling 3-2 win over gritty Aizawl FC in an entertaining I-League football match to keep pace with league leaders East Bengal at the floodlit Rabindra Sarovar Stadium here on Saturday.
Darryl Duffy (2nd, 84th) scored a brace either side of Aizawl FC’s two goals to hand his side the much-needed win. Jeje Lalpekhlua scored too in the 63rd minute.
For the visitors, Jayesh Rane (41st) and Asutosh Mehta (70th) were the scorers.
Bagan are now on 16 points from six games, same as East Bengal who are ahead only on goal difference.
It took Bagan two minutes to nose ahead. Duffy scored his fifth goal of the campaign to join C.K. Vineeth and Dipanda Dicka as the league’s top scorers.
The Scottish striker stooped low to nod in Yusa Katsumi’s cross from the left flank and beat his marker Kingsley Eze.
Prabir Das had another golden opportunity to double the tally soon after but the Atletico de Kolkata full-back skied his effort from in front of an empty net.
Aizawl regrouped well and had their share of chances as well with Alfred Jaryan coming close.
In the 41st minute, the visitors equalised. Kamo Bayi squared the ball for Rane to tap in as the first half ended 1-1.
In the second half, Jeje gave Bagan the lead for the second time in the match, scoring off a Prabir Das pass. But all was not over for Aizawl as Mehta headed in Rane’s corner with ten minutes remaining.
Mehta turned villain four minutes later, hacking down Katsumi to gift Bagan a penalty. Duffy stepped up to place the ball in the bottom right corner and become the league’s highest scorer at six goals.