Mohun Bagan hammered by Chinese side in AFC qualifier

Mohun Bagan slumped to a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Shandong Luneng in Tuesday’s Preliminary Stage 2 encounter at the Jinan Olympic Centre in China. The Chinese side will now face 2008 ACL finalists Adelaide United in the playoffs for the Group Stage of this year’s edition of Asia’s premier club competition.

Bagan found Shandong a step up in quality from the Singaporean side Tampines Rovers, who were beaten by the Kolkata giants 3-1 in the previous round.   -  Shandong Luneng Twitter handle

Mohun Bagan slumped to a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Shandong Luneng in Tuesday’s Preliminary Stage 2 encounter at the Jinan Olympic Centre in China. The Chinese side will now face 2008 ACL finalists Adelaide United in the playoffs for the Group Stage of this year’s edition of Asia’s premier club competition.

The Kolkata giants had earned the right to face the five-time Chinese FA Cup winners in the next phase of the qualifiers after defeating Tampines Rovers 3-1 in the only Preliminary Stage 1 fixture. However, Bagan found Shandong a step up in quality from the Singaporean side as a Yang Xu double and goals from Walter Montillo, Diego Tardelli, Zheng Zheng, and Wang Yongpo secured a one-sided win for the home side.

Floodgates open

Despite the absence of 2015 Chinese Super League (CSL) top scorer Aloisi, Shandong still had too much in their arsenal for Mohun Bagan and took a 23rd-minute lead when Yang cushioned a cross from the right into the path of former Argentina international Montillo, who curled an exquisite left-foot shot past Mariners keeper Debjit Majumber.

The 2014/15 I-League Goalkeeper of the Season was beaten for a second time in the first half when Diego Tardelli collected a pass from Wang and fired a powerful low shot to give the home side a two-goal cushion at the interval.

The former Brazil international, who featured in six 2012 AFC Champions League matches during a spell in Qatar with Al Gharafa, went from scorer to provider as Shandong went 3-0 up in the 56th minute, laying the ball into the path of Yang who scored with almost a carbon copy of Montillo’s opener, with the 28-year-old curling the ball home with his right instead of the left.

Yang scored his second and Shandong’s fourth 12 minutes later with a powerful downward header following Zhao Mingjian’s cross from the right before Zheng Zheng got his name on the scoresheet with 14 minutes left to play.

But Mohun’s misery didn’t end there and after a buccaneering run from inside his own half, Liu Binbin whipped the ball across the area where Wang applied the finishing touch as the 2012 CSL Top Scorer skilfully volleyed in number six from near the penalty spot to seal Shandong’s emphatic win in style.

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