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I-League: Mohun Bagan beat Shillong Lajong FC 4-3 in exciting encounter

Balwant Singh scored twice in the first half to give Mohun bagan an early lead which they almost squandered in the second half

Cornel Glen
Cornel Glen scored from the penalty spot

Mohun Bagan bagged all three points with a crucial 4-3 away victory over Shillong Lajong FC. Balwant Singh scored twice in the first half to give his team a comprehensive 2-0 lead within the first 15 minutes. Cornel Glen pegged one back in the 27th minute and later restored parity from the penalty spot in the second half. Just when Mohun Bagan were losing their ground, Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa yet again scored with a brilliant header. Pierre Boya hammered the final nail in Lajong’s coffin after scoring from the spot.

Mohun Bagan visited Lajong high on confidence after they defeated defending Champions Bengaluru FC 4-1 last week. Their blistering form reflected in this game too from the very beginning. Balwant Singh scored the opening goal of the match as early as in the 2nd minute when Kingshuk Debnath floated a long ball into the penalty box. The Lajong defenders were caught napping as Balwant converted a simple tap in.

Mohun Bagan kept on pressing after finding an early goal and they dominated in the attacking third. This approach earned them a second goal in the 15th minute from the feet of Balwant Singh again. Sony Norde ran down the left flank and dodged anopponent defender inside the box and attempted a shot. The ball took a deflection from the Lajong defenders and Balwant Singh yet again tapped in the ball to complete a brace. This time South Korean defender Minchol Son was at fault.

Shillong Lajong came back into the game with a blistering header from Cornell Glen in the 27th minute when Boithang Haokip curled a superb corner and Glen headed the ball home. Seminlen Doungel could have equalized in the 39th minute when he attempted a flick from Boithang Haokip’s free-kick, but his header went just above the bar.

Mohun Bagan dominate second half after conceding

Lajong looked more determined in the second half and were attacking in numbers with the pressure increasing on Mohun Bagan’s defence. Around the 53rd minute mark, Seminlen Doungel attempted an opportunistic long ranger and Debjit Majumder, who was off his line, did a brilliant job by fisting the ball above the goal post.

Shillong Lajong were looking extremely desperate for an equaliser and in the 62nd minute, another long-range attempt was taken on the Mohun Bagan goal. This time it was Min-Chol Son. Cornell Glen tried a header but misjudged the flight. Debjit again somehow guided the ball away after it bounced awkwardly.

Boithang Haokip took the resulting corner and the floating cross unfortunately hit Pritam Kotal’s hand and a penalty was awarded immediately and Cornel Glen converted. Mohun Bagan started to take a firm grip on the match after conceding the equalizing goal. Their attacks looked more constructive and they looked hungry for goals.

In the 74th minute, Katsumi Yusa scored from a fantastic header after Dhanachandra Singh curled an impeccable ball towards Yusa who did not make any mistake to win back the lead for his team. Mohun Bagan increased their lead in the 81st minute after Pierre Boya scored from the spot. Sony Norde tried to dribble past four players in the opponent’s penalty box. Failing to stop the brilliant Norde, Durga Boro brought him down inside the box.

Lajong pulled one back in the additional time from Uilliams’ strike. Cornell Glen provided the assist this time. Lajong made the dying moments of the match exciting but their effort was of no use as the Kolkata giants won yet another game and remain unbeaten in the league.

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