I-League: Gonzalez hat-trick headlines Mohun Bagan's 6-2 win over NEROCA FC

Francisco Gonzalez's first-half hat-trick set the tone for Mohun Bagan's 6-2 win over NEROCA FC, extending its lead at the I-League summit to 11 points.

Mohun Bagan players celebrate a goal against NEROCA FC-Rajeev Bhatt   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Francisco Gonzalez scored a timely hat-trick to help 10-man Mohun Bagan dominate visitor Neroca FC by a resounding scoreline of 6-2 in an I-league fixture at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium here on Friday. The win helped the former champion pick up its fifth successive win and realise a 11-point lead in (29 points from 12 matches) the current league table.

Adding to Gonzalez’s hat-trick was a contribution each from Francisco Morante, Babacar Diawara and substitute Romario Jesuraj. Neroca reduced the margin through goals from Philip Adjah and Subash Singh. Mohun Bagan went a man down in the 60th minute losing Dhanachandra Singh, who was given his marching orders for handling a Ronald Singh effort at the Bagan goalmouth.


Continuing from where it left off in the previous win (1-0) against Punjab FC, Mohun Bagan unleashed its attacking efficiency right from the start. Bagan found success in the 11th minute from a set-piece situation when Gonzalez nodded home a Joseba Beitia’s corner. This opened the floodgates to a spate of goals in the next 34 minutes.

Francisco Morante was quick to make it 2-0 in the 13th minute when he found the net diverting home a half-volley from Tursunov. As Bagan continued to press for more, the Neroca goal fell once again in the 24th minute. This time it was Gonzalez nodding home a short chip from Beitia (3-0). After Gonzalez had missed a 26th minute penalty, Diawara made it 4-0 in the 36th minute. Philip Adjah got a goal against the run of play in the 41st minute for Neroca.

Gonzalez completed his hat-trick in the 45th minute thanks to another assist from Beitia (5-1). While Gonzalez was prolific with his finishing, it was Beitia’s ability to locate his teammates with precise passes from set-pieces that helped Mohun Bagan find the biggest win of the season so far.

Neroca's Subash Singh added one more in added time as the first half ended with seven goals. Bagan reduced its aggression after the break slowing down the proceedings.

Despite having a numerical disadvantage Mohun Bagan managed the sixth goal which came off Romario, who scored from another Beitia corner right after taking the field in the 69th minute. Neroca could have reduced the margin on earning the penalty at the hour mark. This resulted in the ejection of the Bagan defender Dhanachandra, who was hauled up for handling the ball while trying to save a bicycle kick from Neroca substitute Ronald Singh. Adjah squandered the opportunity firing his attempt wide from the spot.

The result: Mohun Bagan 6 (Francisco Gonzalez 11, 24, 45, Francisco Morante 13, Babacar Diawara 36, Romario Jesuraj 69) bt Neroca FC 2 (Philip Adjah 41, Subash Singh 45+2)
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