I-League: Dipanda Dicka’s strikes twice in Mohun Bagan victory
After successive draws, Mohun Bagan finally have a win to their name in the I-League as a Dipanda Dicka brace sealed a 2-0 win over the Indian Arrows in Cuttack on Saturday.
The Cameroonian striker, who was the top-scorer in the competition for the last two years opened his goal-scoring this season with a brace, striking in the 30th and 45+1th minute to bring home three points for the Mariners. Meanwhile, it was a second defeat for the Indian Arrows, and have just three points so far–which came against Shillong Lajong.
The Kolkata giants had more of the ball than the AIFF developmental side, who were defensive from the beginning. Mohun Bagan had their chances in the first half when forward Henry Kisseka’s shot just went wide from the Arrows’ box in the second minute. His strike partner, Dicka then headed a ball from a cross, straight into the hands of the Arrows custodian Prabhsukan Gill five minutes later.
In the 30th minute, Kisseka sent a cross for Dicka, cutting through the defence as the Cameroonian obliged, scoring with a diving header to break the deadlock. In reply, the Indian Arrows initiated an attack as Boris Singh came up with a terrific run into the Mohun Bagan box, but couldn’t make use of the move, that threatened to level the score.
Mohun Bagan’s insurance goal came just at the stroke of half-time when a cross from Pintu Mahata caught the hand of a defender and this was immediately followed by the referee awarding a penalty to the former I-League champions. Dicka, who had scored the lone goal so far put one into the net for a brace as his side now enjoyed a two-goal lead walking into the second-half of the game.
Coach Floyd Pinto nonetheless came up with a change in the midfield in the form of the introduction of Khumanthem Meetei in place of defender Aimol–a move that signalled that the Arrows were keen on pulling one back for themselves. Despite Rahul KP’s good show, a solid Mohun Bagan defence led by Eze Kingsley did not let any further slip-ups as they kept a clean sheet.
The day also saw holders Minerva Punjab securing their first win this term with a 2-1 victory over Aizawl FC. Defender Lancine Toure scored both goals for his side through headers while Aizawl’s lone goal came through a penalty by Leonce Dodoz.