Hero Super Cup: Bagan beats Lajong, moves into semis

Mohun Bagan overcame a resilient opponent in Shillong Lajong in an eventful quarterfinal at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.

Action from the Hero Super Cup quarterfinal in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.   -  AIFF Media

Mohun Bagan overcame a resilient opponent in Shillong Lajong in an eventful Hero Super Cup quarterfinal at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday. The 3-1 victory meant Bagan will meet either Indian Super League finalist Bengaluru FC or NEROCA FC on April 17.

Bagan profited from a positive start to the contest, accounting for two goals within the first 22 minutes. Lajong bravely attempted a comeback having got one back in the first half itself but a failed penalty attempt and a 60th minute own goal from Laurence Doe sealed its fate.

Action packed half

Lajong made the first shot on goal in the fourth minute, but it was Bagan which took the lead through Sk. Faiaz eight minutes later. Faiaz made good use of a chip from Dipanda Dicka inside the box, chesting it down and striking it potently despite having been closed down by two defenders. His kick on the turn beat the goalkeeper and slotted into the right corner.

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Defender Doe’s inadequate clearance of a cross by Faiaz led to Bagan’s second goal. Nikhil Kadam siezed upon the opportunity, gaining control of the ball and unleashing a curling left-footer to strike the underside of the bar. The ball bounced inside the goal-line and came out; the referee cleared the confusion by awarding the goal.

In the 25th minute, Lajong had a chance to get one back but blew it. Kingshuk Debnath was deemed to have brought down Samuel inside the penalty box and a penalty was awarded to Lajong. Samuel’s shot was saved by the Bagan goalkeeper Shilton Paul. Lajong was finally on the board three minutes later when Samuel lobbed a ball towards the goal, and Koffi siezed upon the chance to head it in.

Final nail in the coffin

Lajong was in the ascendancy in the second half, creating a few chances. Doe’s own goal, however, deflated the team. Arijit Bagui’s cross aimed at Moghrabi inside the Lajong box fell to Doe to clear, but the Liberian headed it in. The moment was a turning point as Bagan regained control of proceedings to be able to hold on to its lead till the end.

Final result:  Mohun Bagan - 3 (Sk. Faiaz 12’, Nikhil Kadam 22’, Laurence Doe 60’(Own Goal)) beat Shillong Lajong – 1 (Abdoulaye Koffi 28’)

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