Mondal wipes away past, looks ahead

Pune FC custodian Abhra Mondal passed a huge psychological test of his playing career against Shillong Lajong FC during Round 13 of the I-League.

Having gone through the ordeal of nursing a cracked right shin that put him out of action for eleven months, Mondal completed a sensational return at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

That was Pune FC's first win, but for Mondal it was also about walking off with the Man of the Match honour, which was quite in contrast to the last time he played in Shillong. It was back on January 28 2012.

Monday clashed with

Eugeneson Lyngdoh and was stretchered off.

Since then much has changed. The Kolkata born custodian has recovered, is close to being at his best and in fact, began his second stint against Sporting Clube de Goa (November 27, 2012).

"Before the match, all the while, including our trip to Shillong, the thought kept coming to my mind," Mondal explained after the game. "I always had doubt in my mind and it was kind of building within. However, by figuring in the playing eleven in earlier rounds I had confidence."

He added, "It was a question of going out on the pitch and ending the negative thought. On arrival in Shillong, thoughts about the incident flashed in my mind. But once I held a couple of balls during practice I felt better… The rest completes my story."

Fact is, Mondal did run into Eugeneson in Shillong. "He (Eugeneson) asked me how I was. Said sorry once again to which I explained that it is part of the game… it could have happened to anyone… back then it was my bad day out."

On receiving the Man of the Match, Mondal explained, "Out there I was trying to get as much confidence to myself. It was important for me. But once the game got going I realized all will be well."

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