Trinidad and Tobago striker Cornell Glen scored a hat-trick to help Shillong Lajong prevail over 10-man Mohammedan Sporting by the odd-goal in nine in a rearranged fixture of the I-League here at the Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday. Needing a win to stay afloat, Mohammedan Sporting gained an early lead as striker Ashim Biswas found the target in the fifth minute.
But the home side suffered a big blow in the 13th minute losing goalkeeper Luis Barreto to a straight red card for bringing down Lajong midfielder Boithang Haokip inside the box.
Glen scored the resultant penalty in the 16th minute to equalise for the visitor.
Enlivened by the numerical advantage, Lajong attacked more and gained the lead near the half hour mark when Subhas Singh nodded home the team’s second goal.
Nigerian midfielder Orji Penn equalised for the host in the 34th minute, but Glen restored Lajong’s lead just before the interval in the 43rd minute.
Mohammedan Sporting restored parity early in the second half as Brazilian striker Josimar da Silva made it 3-3 in the 47th minute.
The host continued to attack and earned a penalty at the hour mark when Lajong defender Lallawmzuala tripped Josimar. Brazilian defender Luciano Sabrosa, however, failed to convert from the spot as Lajong custodian Lalthuammawia Ralte guessed right and pulled off a fine save.
Sabrosa’s miss proved crucial as Subhash Singh and Glen scored in the 69th and 74th minute to give the visitor a 5-3 lead. Josimar pulled one back in the 79th, but Lajong held on to complete a thrilling win.
The loss compounded Mohammedan Sporting’s relegation woes as the team remained at the bottom of the standings with 21 points from 23 matches. Lajong remained in fifth spot with 32 points from 22 matches.
Meanwhile, host Churchill Brothers (22 points from 22 matches) rode on Yumnam Raju’s lone goal to defeat East Bengal (37 from 22) 1-0 at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Fatorda. Yumnam’s match-winner came in the 23rd minute.
The results: Mohammedan Sporting 4 (Ashim Biswas 5, Penn Orji 34, Josimar 47, 79) lost to Shillong Lajong 5 (Cornell Glen 16-pen, 43, 74, Subash Singh 29, 69).
At Margao: Churchill Brothers 1 (Yumnam Raju 23) bt East Bengal 0.