Lone-goal win for Mohun Bagan

It was a one-way traffic at the Nehru Stadium as Shillong Lajong handed out a 4-0 thrashing to Salgaocar FC in the Group C opener of the Federation Cup on Wednesday.

The two teams had played a close game in the I-League with Lajong edging the Goan Club 2-1, but on Wednesday the story was different.

Lajong pumped in two goals in the first half through Seikhohao Tuboi and Redeem Tang, while Taisuke Matsugae and Cornell Glen added two more in the second session.

But the number of opportunities that came from the crosses, Lajong should have finished with at least four more.

The sturdy Lajong defence warded off every rival attack with ease as the Goan team looked disjointed and edgy all through.

Fast on their feet and blessed with loads of stamina, the Lajong boys — the Fed Cup runner-up in 2009 — appeared to be everywhere and this kept Salgaocar under pressure all through.

Sukhohao Tuboi worked hard, running back and forth tirelessly on the left wing.

And when he found a long cross coming his way from the right, from Japanese midfielder Taisuke Matsugae, he headed it in, in the 15th minute.

Eight minutes later, Lajong’s Trinidadian striker Cornell Glen could have added one more to the tally, but was slow to react to a cross.

But he was spot on when he set up one for Redeem Tang a little after the half hour mark.

Tang, rushing in from the right, met it cleanly, giving Salgaocar goalkeeper Karanjit Singh no chance.

Beauty

The third goal was a beauty. Matsugae easily beat the defence and the goalkeeper with a superb shot which found the back of the net four minutes into the second half and Cornell Glen, who had missed quite a few chances, made it 4-0 in the 64th minute with a lovely long-ranger.

Towards the end, Salgaocar’s Darryl Duffy, one of the leading scorers in the I-League, looked a picture of dejection with nothing working for the team.

Christopher nets match-winner

Later, Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa hogged the limelight as 13-time champion Mohun Bagan defeated Mumbai FC by a lone goal in another Group C encounter.

Striker Chizoba Christopher of Nigeria scored the match-winner in the 27th minute of play, beating the Mumbai goalkeeper Nidhin Lal with a bullet-like shot after being set up by Yusa.

Bagan should have finished with at least two more but Christopher shot straight to the goalkeeper after being put through by playmaker Yusa in the 76th minute and a little later, unmarked midfielder Ram Malik, who came in for C.S. Sabeeth in the second half, shot over.

The young Malik almost made amends for that miss when he came up with a hard shot towards the end but a diving Nidhin pushed it away to safety.

Mumbai’s best chance came in the closing stages of the match when Nigerian Henry Ezeh’s attempt hit the post from close range.

There will be no match on Thursday.

The results:

Group C: Shillong Lajong 4 (Seikhohao Tuboi 15, Redeem Tang 36, Taisuke Matsugae 49, Cornell Glen 64) bt Salgaocar FC 0.

Mohun Bagan 1 (Chizoba Christopher 27) bt Mumbai FC 0.

On Tuesday: Group A: Churchill Brothers 2 (Abdul Hameed Shahana 5, Balwant Singh 17) bt United SC 1 (Ranti Martins 43).

Pune FC 1 (Rahamat Riga Mustapha 60) drew with Eagles FC Kerala 1 (Koko Sakibo Atanda 78).

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