Mohun Bagan boss Kibu Vicuna: Papa Diawara is the best striker in I-League

Kibu Vicuna heaped praise on striker Papa Diawara who scored his ninth goal of the ongoing I-League season as Mohun Bagan and Chennai City played out a 1-1 draw on Thursday.

The Mariners need just five more points to confirm their title victory. They are atop the table with a 13-point lead over second-placed Punjab FC.

After the home match against the defending champions, Vicuna said, "Papa (Baba Diawara) is the best striker in the competition. He needed time to settle down in the country. He scored a brilliant goal today. Not only is he scoring but he is also helping the team during set-pieces. I am very happy with him."

Vicuna felt that it was a close contest against Chennai City who dominated proceedings in midfield. 

"I think it was a close match and they played very well. They played well in the first half. They were changing a lot of positions. They had more of the ball. We did our best. There was no complacency. We finished the game better than them. One more point for us and we march on.

"We played three midfielders in a narrow position as the opposition was trying to play everything through the middle. Their wingers were also positioned very narrowly. Fito was playing in a deeper role. So we had to pack more midfielders to counter that."

Chennai City boss Akbar Nawas is hoping that the league remains competitive until the end of the season. 

"The rest of the teams are competitive. I hope the other teams get some positive results and the league remains open-ended till the end.

"We could have won the match. We got many chances in both the halves. We should have put those away. Now we need to improve as a team and move forward."