A brace from striker Jeje Lalpekhlua helped Mohun Bagan defeat Shillong Lajong 5-0 in the first leg of the Federation Cup semi-final at the Barasat stadium on Sunday. Bikramjit Singh, Cornell Glen and Azharuddin Mallick scored the other 3 goals to give Lajong a mountain to climb in the second leg.
Disappointing everyone who had hoped for a Kolkata derby in the semi-final, Shillong Lajong entered the last four after dumping out East Bengal in extra time last week.
The Mariners have been in fine form in the Federation cup, and they thrashed Salgaocar 4-0 in the second leg to register a 7-2 aggregate win. With the Federation Cup winners guaranteed a place in the AFC Cup, coach Sanjoy Sen put out a strong XI for the home leg of the semi-final. Cornell Glen, who missed the last game, came in place of Azharuddin Mallick to complete the attacking triumvirate. Pronay Halder also started the match alongside Bikramjit Singh in the midfield and he replaced Lenny Rodrigues.
With Glen, Jeje and
The pressure was increasing on the Shillong defence, and if man-to-man marking was not enough, the away side moved to double mark
The home side
With Bagan leading 4-0, the pace of the game slowed down after the 60th minute and the home side focussed more on their defensive positions to stop Shillong from scoring an away goal. As the game progressed, the away side received some much-needed space in the middle, which they used to mount a few attacks on the Bagan goal. But their attempts proved to be more in hope as the Mariners saw out the rest of the minutes and added one more in the 87th minute through Azharuddin Mallick to put one foot in the final of the Federation Cup.