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 December 20, 2002 | 1910 IST

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Barreto helps Mohun Bagan beat ITI

Brazilian import Jose Ramirez Barreto struck in the 43rd minute as defending champions Mohun Bagan defeated Indian Telephone Industries 1-0 in a seventh National Football League match in Bangalore on Friday.

The Kolkata outfit, without the services of the mercurial Baichung Bhutia, who is out of action for six weeks due to a calf muscle tear, held on to their lead as the telephonemen staged a spirited fightback.

Mohun Bagan now have 12 points from seven outings.

The local side, who are yet to score a victory, are placed at the bottom of the table with just two points from seven matches.

The encounter at the Bangalore Football Stadium was high-pitched from the word go as both sides went whole gog but it was a saga of missed opportunities for Mohun Bagan and ITI barring Barreto's effort just before half-time.

In fact, Mohun Bagan had a chance to forge ahead in the 21st minute itself but Sunil Chettri missed a relatively easy opportunity to score with no opposition to thwart his attempt. But he was off target.

ITI's Seth Osai made a superb effort in the 28th minute but his powerful hit was well collected by goalkeeper Bivash Ghosh who did a fine job under the bar.

Mohun Bagan's Amar Ganguly, Ajoy Singh and ITI's Firoz were shown yellow cards.

Complete Coverage: 7th National Football League 2002-03