Fed Cup: Mohun Bagan thrashes Salgaocar 4-0

Bagan will play Shillong Lajong FC, which beat its Kolkata-rival East Bengal on Wednesday, in the first leg of the semifinal at the same venue on Sunday (May 8).

Mohun Bagan's Dhanachandra Singh tries to head the ball home in Bagan's clash against Salgaocar.   -  AIFF Media

Sony Norde scored twice and set up another to help Mohun Bagan crush Salgaocar FC 4-0 in the return fixture of the Federation Cup quarterfinal here at the Vidyasagar Stadium on Thursday.

Jeje Lalpekhlua added the finishing touch with a late strike to make it a memorable win for the host. The thumping win at home saw 13-time champion Mohun Bagan progressed to the semifinals via an aggregate score of 7-2 in two rounds.

Bagan will play Shillong Lajong FC, which beat its Kolkata-rival East Bengal on Wednesday, in the first leg of the semifinal at the same venue on Sunday (May 8).

Mohun Bagan thrived on the skill and fitness of the Haiti-Japan combination of Norde and Katsumi Yusa, to snuff out the challenge of Salgaocar. Despite starting without its injured Trinidad and Tobago striker Cornell Glen, who came in as a replacement in the match, the host took control of the proceedings early gaining from the efficiency of its foreign arsenal aided by the presence of India striker Jeje.

Needing just a draw to secure the last-four berth, Mohun Bagan opted for its usual offensive ploy and found the lead early in the 25th minute when Yusa struck the target on an assist from Norde. Bagan midfielder Lenny Rodrigues located an overlapping Norde on the left wing and the Haitian World Cupper chugged up to set up a cross for an unmarked Yusa to tap it home.

Jeje could have fetched an early lead but his spectacular bicycle kick came off the Eder Monteiro in the Salgaocar box. For the rest of the first half Norde and Yusa continued to scare the opposition with some deft movements on both the flanks. Norde made it 2-0 in the added-time (45+1) on an assist from Yusa to have Bagan leading the half time 2-0 (5-2 on aggregate) in the first half.

Bagan pressed for more after the break and Norde did not disappoint a partisan gathering of over 10,000 in the stands with a spectacular goal in the 52nd minute. Setting his individual skill in full flow, Norde beat Nicolau Colaco in the Salgaocar box and fired an angled shot that found the right corner of the net beating the opponent goalkeeper Karanjiit Singh (3-0).

Salgaocar, which remained in the receiving for most of the occasion, had its share of opportunities midway in the second session. But the framework came in the way thrice to end its efforts of finding a reply. A first effort, a header from striker Darryl Duffy, came off the crosspiece before Jackichand Singh found the horizontal bar once again trying score on the rebound. Finally, Calvin Mbarga’s shot came off the upright to end the sequence of tries in frustration for the Salgaocar camp.

With the victory almost sealed, Jeje found the target off a solo effort in the added-time of the second session (90+4 minutes) to make it a resounding victory for Mohun Bagan.

The result: Mohun Bagan 4 (Katsumi Yusa 25, Sony Norde 45+1, 52, Jeje Lalpekhlua 90+4) bt Salgaocar FC 0. First leg: Salgaocar SC lost to Mohun Bagan 2-3 (in Goa).

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