Dicka powers Mohun Bagan to victory against Indian Arrows
Cuttack: Cameroonian striker Dipanda Dicka, the top scorer of the last two editions of the I-League, opened his account this season with a brace of goals in Mohun Bagan's 2-0 win over Indian Arrows here on Saturday.
Dicka's two first-half strikes (30th and 45+1), the second off a penalty, gave Mohun Bagan their first win of the season. They now have five points from three games.
The Arrows suffered their second loss and remain on three points, courtesy their win against Shillong Lajong at the same venue.
The Arrows strategy was clearly to sit back and defend as Mohun Bagan not only dominated possession but also had all the goal scoring chances of the first half. As early as the second minute, Ugandan striker Henry Kisseka found himself in the clear inside the Arrows box but he hit wide with only the keeper to beat.
Then Dicka, in the seventh minute, got a free header from an Omar Elhusseiney cross from the left but he nodded straight to Prabhsukan Gill in the Arrows goal.
Kisseka missed a couple of chances but the first goal arrived in the 30th minute. Kisseka got hold of the ball outside the Arrows box on the right and bulldozed through three defenders and sent a cross past Gill for Dicka to score with a diving header.
The Arrows began to show some attacking intent five minutes from the end of the first half and Boris Singh made an eye-catching run down the Mohun Bagan box but yielded nothing in the end.
However, just before the end of the half, Pintu Mahata, who had switched flanks, cut in from the left and his cross caught the outstretched hand of a defender and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Dicka slotted in for his and Mohun Bagan's second of the game to give them the required cushion going into the break.
Arrows coach Floyd Pinto brought in Khumanthem Meetei in the second half in the midfield in place of right back Aimol in a clear change of tactics intended to bring in more attacking impetus.
Rahul K P, who continued to impress with every outing, was at the heart of this impetus but the Mohun Bagan defence, led by Nigerian Eze Kingsley, held the fort.
Among the best chances for Mohun Bagan in the second half was in the 68th minute when Dicka rose to connect a cross from Arijit Bagui from the right flank but his header was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Gill.