Federation Cup: Mohun Bagan enter final despite draw at Shillong

Federation Cup: Mohun Bagan enter final despite draw at Shillong

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Mohun Bagan entered the Federation Cup final on Saturday with a 5-0 aggregate win over shilling Lajong, despite playing out a goalless draw in the second leg at Shillong. The Mariners will now face the winners of the other semi-final, between Sporting Clube de Goa and Aizawl, in the final.

Starting Line-ups:

Shillong Lajong (4-3-3): Vishal Kaith(GK), Samuel Shadap, Konsham Chinglensana Singh, Nimdorjee Tamang, Pritam Kumar, Zodingliana Ralte, Penn Orji(C), Issac Vanmalsawma, Robin Gurung, Fabio Pena, Samuel Lalmuanpuia

Mohun Bagan (4-3-3): Debjit Majumder(GK), Pritam Kotal, Raju Gaikwad, Luciano Sobrosa, Dhanachandra Singh, Katsumi Yusa(C), Lenny Rodrigues, Bikramjit Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Cornell Glen, Sony Norde

Sanjoy Sen’s Mohun Bagan side reached Shillong for the second leg with a 5-0 lead after hammering the Lajong side at Kolkata last Sunday. Although the Mariners lost in midweek in the AFC Cup, all the big stars came back into the team for the second leg with the deadly triumvirate of Jeje, Sony Norde and Cornell Glen starting up front.

For Shillong Lajong, pride was at stake against the 2014/15 I-League champions, and coach Thangboi Singto made three changes to the side as he searched for a win. In came Robin Gurung, Zodingliana Ralte, and Samuel Lalmuanpuia in place of Boithang Haokip, Rupert Nongrum, and Uilliams Souza.

The job was done in the first leg at Kolkata and the Mariners calmly went through their paces to see off the home side in the second leg. Shillong needed goals to come back into the match and they made their intent clear from the first minute. Issac Vanmalsawma missed a good chance from a corner in the seventh minute to put the home side ahead as his powerful shot sailed over the bar. Although the home side made the majority of the attacks in the first half, goals remained missing with Brazilian striker Uilliams Souza absent from the starting XI. Fabio Pena was alone up front and was easily negotiated by Luciano Sobrosa and Raju Gaikwad. Set pieces form the Shillong side caused Mohun Bagan problems, but the Kolkata side saw out the efforts to keep the scoreline 0-0 at the end of the half.

After a sedated first forty-five, things livened up a bit after the break with Sony Norde’s pace causing headaches for the home side’s defence. The Haitian attacker produced a brilliant counter-attack in the 60th minute and beat three defenders before passing the ball to Jeje, who wasted the chance after a poor touch. A miscommunication in the Mohun Bagan backline gave Shillong an opportunity to score their first goal in the 71st minute, but Fabio Pena somehow missed the opportunity and hit the near post to the disappointment of the home crowd. The final twenty minutes saw Bagan sitting back and seeing out the game to move into the final of the Federation Cup with a 5-0 aggregate win.  

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