A fine brace by Jeje Lalpekhlua helped Mohun Bagan outclass Maldives outfit Club Valencia 5-2 on aggregate and secure their place in the AFC Cup group-stage.
After settling for a 1-1 draw in the first leg away from home, Bagan turned up the intensity in the return leg at the Rabindra Sarobar on Tuesday.
Jeje gave them the lead in the second minute of the game as his shot towards goal hit the hand of Valencia’s Usman. Jeje converted from the resultant penalty to make it 2-1 on aggregate.
Bagan were handed a two-goal advantage as Valencia’s Hussain Nihaan put the ball in his own net at the stroke of half-time.
Valencia came back strongly and reduced Bagan’s advantage as Godfrey West Omodu made it 3-2 on aggregate six minutes into the second half.
Jeje, however, restored the two-goal advantage for the hosts eight minutes from time, before Sony Norde smashed in Bagan’s fourth of the match and fifth of the two-leg tie.
Despite the goal glut, Bagan were below par for much of the contest. They missed a number of easy chances and showed terrible co-ordination in defence. Fortune, however, was on their side as Valencia could not capitalise.
Bagan join Bengaluru FC in group E of the group stage along side Abahani Dhaka and Maziya.
- Mohun Bagan 4 (Jeje Lalpekhlua x 2, Hussain Nihaan-og, Sony Norde) beat Club Valencia 1 (Godfrey West Omodu).