Bhubaneswar, April 11: Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan dished out a professional performance to get the better of fellow I-League side Shillong Lajong FC 3-1 in the second quarter-final of the Super Cup, being played at Bhubaneswar's Kalinga Stadium. Goals from Sk Faiaz, Nikhil Kadam and an own goal by Shillong's Liberian defender Laurence Doe ensured Mohun Bagan a place in the semi-finals of the competition.
Both Mohun Bagan coach Shankarlal Chakraborty and Shillong's interim coach Alison Kharsyntiew fielded identical 4-4-2 formations. The Kolkata side played Sk Faiaz on the left wing and Nikhil Kadam on the right wing to start with and had Cameroonian sniper Dipanda Dicka and Lebanese Akram Moghrabi in attack. While Shillong fielded Phurba Lachenpa in goal in place of Nidhin Lal, who had a brilliant Round of 16 game, 19-year old captain Samuel Lalmuanpuia played just behind Ivory Coast's Abdoulaye Koffi.
Mohun Bagan began the game aggressively even though the first shot came off Samuel as early as the fourth minute.
Sk. Faiaz then gave Mohun Bagan the lead in the 12th minute, which set off a very exciting 15 minutes. Japanese midfielder Yuta Kinowaki passed ahead to Dipanda Dicka outside the box, who chipped inside to Faiaz. The winger chested it down and then got a second bite of the cherry despite being closed down by two Lajong defenders. His kick on the turn beat Lachenpa into the right corner.
Ten minutes later, Doe headed a Faiaz cross clear, but only as far as Nikhil Kadam, 30-35 yards outside the Shillong penalty area. Nikhil trapped and unleashed a curling left-footer, which beat Lachenpa all ends up and went in off the underside of the bar. After some initial confusion, referee Santhosh Bhaskaran rightly awarded Bagan the goal.
It isn't just the scoreline but the football that @MohunBagan is playing is so beautiful. At times the ease with which we create chances and get behind the opposition defence is truly mesmerizing. #JoyMohunBagan #HeroSuperCup— Arinjay Ghosh (@ArinjayGhosh) April 11, 2018
The excitement continued. In the 25th minute, Bhaskaran adjudged Kingshuk Debnath to have brought down Samuel inside the Bagan box and pointed to the spot. Samuel's shot was saved by the experienced Bagan keeper Shilton Paul.
In the 28th minute however, Shillong got their goal back, when a chip from the midfield found Samuel inside the box, whose lobbed volley while going to ground and with his back to the goal, was headed over Shilton's hands by an onrushing Koffi.
But it all went down for Lajong in the second half. In the 60th minute, Arijit Bagui of Mohun Bagan floated a cross inside the box, aimed at Akram Moghrabi. Both Akram and Doe went for the ball with different purposes. Unfortunately for Doe, his header in trying to clear the ball flew inside the Shillong goal.
On April 17, Bagan will take on the winners of the Friday quarter-final between Bengaluru FC and NEROCA FC.
Match result: Mohun Bagan 3 (SK Faiaz 12, Nikhil Kadam 22, Laurence Doe 60 og) bt Shillong Lajong 1 (Abdoulaye Koffi 28)
Source: AIFF Media