AFC Cup: Mohun Bagan thrashes South China

The I-League champions, which had drubbed Maldives side Maziya Sports and Recreation 5-2 in its home match in Guwahati last month, scored through Lenny Rodrigues (15th minute), Sony Norde (39th), Cornell Glen (45th) and Jeje Lalpekhlua (82nd) in a Group G match at Mongkok Stadium here.

Jeje Lalpekhlua scored the fourth goal for the visiting Mohun Bagan side.   -  V. Sreenivasa Murthy (File Picture)

Mohun Bagan notched up its second consecutive victory with a 4-0 thrashing of a 10-man South China of Hong Kong in a group stage match of the AFC Cup football tournament here today.

The I-League champions, which had drubbed Maldives side Maziya Sports and Recreation 5-2 in its home match in Guwahati last month, scored through Lenny Rodrigues (15th minute), Sony Norde (39th), Cornell Glen (45th) and Jeje Lalpekhlua (82nd) in a Group G match at Mongkok Stadium here.

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After its second consecutive victory in the continental second tier club competition, Mohun Bagan remained on top with six points from two matches, two points clear of Yangon United of Myanmar, which played out a 1-1 draw with Maziya Sports and Recreation in Male, Maldives.

Mohun Bagan next play Yangon United on March 16 in Guwahati.

With its head coach Sanjoy Sen in the dug out — he was handed a >domestic eight-match ban by AIFF recently — the Kolkata side outplayed its opponents at its own den by scoring three goals in the first half.

Down to 10 men from the 16th minute onwards, South China never recovered and suffered its second consecutive loss in the competition. It had lost to Yangon United of Myanmar 1-2 in an away match last month.

The initial minutes saw both the sides trying to gauge each others’ strength with Mohun Bagan making some attempts at the South China goal though without much purpose.

Mohun Bagan took the lead in the 15th minute from a set-piece as an unmarked Rodrigues headed into the net after the goalkeeper parried off a Katsumi Yusa free-kick.

Just a minute later, Che Runqui of South China was sent off for his second bookable offence in the match, giving Mohun Bagan the numerical superiority.

Spurred by the home crowd, South China played its hearts out despite the numerical disadvantage and it got a couple of attempts at the Mohun Bagan goal but Debjit Majumder was up to the task to thwart any danger.

Mohun Bagan gradually took control of the match as Norde scored in the 39th minute to cushion the lead. He intercepted a miss pass from an opposition player, cuts his marker on the left before placing the ball into the far corner of South China net.

South China lost its confidence after the second jolt and Glen put the game out of its reach by scoring the third goal for Mohun Bagan at the stroke of half time. After a one-two with Norde, Trinidadian Glen fired home giving the South China goalkeeper no chance.

With a 3-0 lead and one-man advantage for Mohun Bagan, the match was as good as over by the end of the first half and the visiting side expectedly dominated the second half also.

Glen wasted an easy chance in the 62nd minute as he shot over the bar in front of an open goal after being fed by Lalpekhlua with the goalkeeper out of position.

Lalpekhlua also recorded his name in the scoresheet as he headed in a Katsumi free-kick from 20 yards eight minutes from time.

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