Mohun Bagan knocked out after humiliating loss in AFC Champions League
Image Courtesy: ©Shandong Luneng Twitter
Defending I-League champions Mohun Bagan stumbled to a 6-0 defeat at the hands of Chinese club Shandong Luneng Taishan FC at the Jinan Olympic Sports Centre Stadium on Tuesday. The Orange fighters dominated the match after the first two minutes, with 28-year-old Yang Xu scoring a brace, and providing two assists in their win.
Shandong's new manager Mano Menezes named a strong starting line-up with the likes of Diego Tardelli and Jucilei finding a place in the team. Mohun Bagan manager Sanjoy Sen, on the other hand, was without his star striker Cornell Glen for this match, who was unavailable for selection due to a visa problem. Young midfielder Brandon Fernandes also missed the action due to an injury.
Shandong opened the scoring in the 23rd minute, with Walter Montillo finding the back of the net. The move was started by Montillo himself, with Yang Xu and Wang Yongpo also involved in the build-up. Montillo finished the move with a lovely curling shot, with his left peg, which found the top corner of the goal.
The Chinese club doubled their lead to 2-0, just before the halftime break, with Mohun Bagan defender Luciano Sabrosa failing to keep up with the pace of Tardelli. The 30-year-old slotted the ball past Debjit Majumder, after leaving his compatriot far behind.
Yang Xu, who was involved in most of the openings Shandong created, completed a brace after the start of the second half. His first goal arrived in the 56th minute, after he found the right top corner of the net, with a delightful shot, after the ball was helped onto him by Tardelli. His second came in the 69th minute with Montillo and Tardelli once again exploiting the right wing, before their right back Zhao Mingjian provided a telling cross into the box, which was headed in by Xu.
Xu came close to completing his hat-trick seven minutes later, but his header was kept out by the outstretched arm of Debjit. However, Raju Gaikwad made a mess of his clearance, which struck the post and fell kindly for Zheng Zheng, who kept his composure to send it past the keeper.
Wang Yongpo applied the cherry on the top of the cake, and scored his team's sixth goal in the 88th minute, after Liu Binbin beat Gaikwad, before picking up Wang with a cross. The Chinese midfielder volleyed it past Debjit in the Bagan goal.
Mohun Bagan will now have to dust themselves up quickly, after this mauling, ahead of their next I-League match against Shillong Lajong on Saturday.