Kolkata, Feb 28 (IANS) Mehtab Hossain could not lead Mohun Bagan to a victory in his final game as Indian Arrows punctured their reputation with a come-from-behind 3-1 verdict in an inconsequential I-League tie, here on Thursday.
Taking a curtain call on his two-decade career, former India midfielder was handed the captain’s armband in his final swansong by home team coach Khalid Jamil.
Azharuddin Mallick gave Mohun Bagan the lead in the 17th minute, deflecting a low Sony Norde cross off Arrows’ defender Anwar Ali into the net. But Abhijit Sarkar drew level in the 28th minute to go into the break locked at 1-1.
In the second half, Arrows took the lead riding Rahul Praveen’s 74th minute strike and dealt the city heavyweights further blow deep into stoppage time when substitute Rohit Danu found the back of the net in 90+5 minutes.
Arrows, the All India’s Football Federation’s developmental side, finished their campaign in the seventh spot having 21 points from 20 games.
Mohun Bagan, who have one game remaining in the season, will finish sixth and currently have 26 points from 19 matches.
In the club’s final home game, Jamil made seven changes from the team after 1-3 loss to Chennai City over the weekend.
Floyd Pinto also left out half of his team as local boys Rahim Ali, Abhijit Sarkar and Jitendra Singh came into the side in six changes made after their 2-2 draw with Real Kashmir.
The first goal came in scrappy circumstances. Norde sped past Boris Singh and his low cross from near the byline took deflections off Anwar Ali and Henry Kisseka before Azharuddin Mallick guided it into the net.
Mohun Bagan’s joy was shortlived after Arijit Bagui hacked down Rahul KP to give away a cheap freekick.
Anwar Ali’s set-piece from 30 yards saw goalkeeper Ricardo Cardozo failing to grab the ball and his spill was followed up by Sarkar, who slotted into an empty net, scoring his first of the season.
After the break, Dipanda Dicka, the replacement for an ineffective William Lalnufela, wasted a gilt-edged chance. Dicka later squandered a few more chances as the away side took the lead for the first time.
Amarjit released Boris on the right and the fullback from inside the box cut back in for Rahul who slotted home on a counter.
Rahul gave way to I-League’s youngest scorer Danu who in the fifth minute of injury time took advantage of a goalkeeping error, slotting home from 40 yards in front of an empty net.