Cornell Glen and Jeje Lalpekhlua scored a brace each as defending I-League champions Mohun Bagan got their AFC Cup campaign off to a stunning start with a thumping 5-2 win over their Maldivian opponents Maziya Sports and Recreation Club in their first game of Group G in Guwahati on Wednesday.
Maziya Sports & RC XI: Imran Mohamed (GK); Amdhan Ali, Samdhooh Mohamed, Zhivko Dinev, Samooh Ali; Gasim Samaam, Ismail Isa, Moosa Yaamin; Ahmed Imaz, Asadhulla Abdulla, Ahmed Nashid
Mohun Bagan manager Sanjoy Sen made three changes to the line-up he used in the 1-0 over Sporting Clube de Goa on Saturday. Kingshuk Debnath, Debjit Majumdar and Brandon Fernandes were replaced by Prabir Das, Shilton Paul and Lenny Rodrigues respectively.
The home side got off to a flying start and dominated the game from the first whistle. Sony Norde, who has had a disappointing I-League campaign so far personally, provided Bagan with the lead in the 19th minute, with a sumptuous free-kick. In the 33rd minute, Jeje doubled the lead with a clinical finish from inside the box.
Just two minutes later, Cornell Glen, who has also struggled with his form in front of the net for the last one month, made it 3-0, much to the joy of the home support.
Maziya showed a lot more determination and attacking intent in the second half, and pulled one back through Ahmed Imaz, who scored from a tap-in in the 61st minute, to make it 3-1.
However, the visitors' joy was short-lived as Jeje completed his brace in the 69th minute, and restored the three-goal lead for Bagan. Just three minutes later, Glen also scored his second of the match, with a calm finish past Imran Mohamed in the Maziya goal, and put the game beyond any doubt.
Maziya managed to score another consolatory goal in the 77th minute as Raju Gaikwad put the ball into his own net while defending a cross. The match ended 5-2, and Sanjoy Sen will be pleased with the convincing performance his team put up on display. In their next game, Mohun Bagan travel to face Hong Kong based club South China on the 9th of March.
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