Defending champions Mohun Bagan, outplayed Mahindra United 2-0 in their last Group B match to book a berth in the semi-finals of the Federation Cup football tournament here today.
The 13-time champion Kolkata side came up with a vastly improved performance after their lacklustre goal-less draw against Chirag United in their last game, to blank their opponents from Mumbai and top their group with seven points from two wins and a draw.
Talismanic Jose Ramirez Barretto scored from the spot in the 42nd minute before his Nigerian strike partner Chidi Edeh, doubled the lead in the 49th minute.
The match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was evenly contested in the first 20 minutes but after that Mohun Bagan, who needed a win to qualify for the semi-finals, took control of the game.
As early as the fifth minute, Mahindra got a chance but Sushil Singh’s shot from the top of box after being fed by his strike partner Muritala Ali went wide.
Another five minutes later, Mahindra’s India player N. P. Pradeep, tested Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee, with a curling free kick from 30 yards. Sangram somehow could lay his hands on the ball.
Barretto had a couple of shots in quick succession at Mahindra goal. First, he shot wide from a tight angle off a James Singh cross from the right in the 25th minute and then in the next minute his left-footer from inside the box off a pass from Ishfaq Ahmed was also off target.