Mohun Bagan faced top Chinese club Shandong Luneng FC today in AFC CL qualifier at the Luneng Big Stadium in Ji’nan. The match ended in defeat for the green-and-maroon brigade who were thrashed by the very resolute Chinese club.
Mohun Bagan defeated Singapore’s Tampines Rovers 3-1 in the first round qualifier to reach this point. Before the match, Mohun Bagan’s coach Sanjoy Sen and his brigade were very confident about how they were prepared to tackle the Chinese giants and the equally difficult weather.
Although the fans of Mohun Bagan FC did not expect their team to do something extraordinary against a very experienced Shandong Luneng FC, they did not expect a 6-0 defeat either which pointed out exactly how weak Indian Football is compared to international standards.
Mohun Bagan started the match well as they pressed vigorously against their Chinese counterparts. In spite of being tightly marked by the defence, Sony Norde was quite impressive in both on and off the ball movements. Things were working out well for Mohun Bagan until Montillo scored the first goal of the game, in the 24th minute.
Once again Sony Norde proved how vital he is to the Bagan squad as he skilfully got past 3 players but lost the ball just outside the penalty box. Brazil's Diego Tardelli scored the second goal and apart from a couple of decent saves by Debjit and a good attempt by Norde, there was nothing worth mentioning in the first half.
Mohun Bagan tried to get back on track early in the second half by playing pressing football but all of their attempts produced no fruit. In the 55th minute, Xang Xu scored the third goal to take the match out of Bagan’s hand. Xang Xu scored his brace and the fourth goal of the match in the 68th minute. Briefly after that, a brilliant save by Debjit saved Bagan from going down 5-0. The fifth and sixth goals were scored by Zheng Zheng and Wang Yongpo in the 76th and 88th minutes respectively.
This 6-0 defeat saw Mohun Bagan exit the tournament after reaching the second round.