Mohun Bagan dished out an impressive performance to beat fellow I-League side Shillong Lajong 3-1 and enter the semifinals of Super Cup football tournament in Bhubaneshwar on Wednesday.
Goals from SK Faiaz (12th minute), Nikhil Kadam (22nd) and an own goal by Shillong Lajong’s Liberian defender Laurence Doe (60th) ensured Mohun Bagan a place in the semifinals at the Kalinga Stadium.
Abdoulaye Koffi scored the lone goal for Shillong Lajong in the 28th minute.
In the semifinals on April 17, the Kolkata side will take on the winners of the quarterfinal game between Bengaluru FC and Neroca FC.
Mohun Bagan began with more aggression even as the first shot at the goal came off the feet of Samuel for Shillong Lajong as early as the fourth minute.
Faiaz then gave Mohun Bagan the lead in the 12th minute. Dipanda Dicka was the supplier as Faiaz chest-trapped the ball down and then fired it past Shillong golie Lachenpa to the right corner of the net.
Ten minutes later, Doe headed a Faiaz cross clear, but only as far as Nikhil Kadam, 30-35 yards outside the Shillong penatly area. Nikhil trapped and unleashed a curling left footer which beat Lachenpa all ends up and went in off the underside of the bar and came out.
After some initial confusion, referee Santhosh Bhaskaran rightly blew to signal Mohun Bagan were 2-0 ahead.
The excitement continued and in the 25th minute, Bhaskaran adjudged Kingshuk Debnath to have brought down Samuel inside the Mohun Bagan box and pointed to the dreaded spot. Samuel’s shot was saved by the experienced Mohun Bagan keeper Shilton Paul.
In the 28th minute, Shillong pulled one goal back, when Koffi found the target off a pass by Samuel.
Shillong Lajong’s game was in the ascendancy in the first quarter of the second half and they created a few good chances. All that changed in the 60th minute, when right back Arijit Bagui floated in a cross aimed at Moghrabi inside the Lajong box. Both Akram and Doe went for the ball with different purposes. Unfortunately for Doe, his header in trying to clear the ball lodged inside the Shillong Lajong goal.
The goal came against the run of play but Mohun Bagan took complete control of the game after this. Shillong Lajong tried to put together a few attacks in the last moments of the game and Abdoulaye Koffi got a chance to pull back a goal in the injury time as well but Mohun Bagan managed to hold on till the end.