Mohun Bagan win 2016 Federation Cup with 5-0 rout of Aizawl FC
Both Mohun Bagan and Aizawl FC were chasing history as they took the ground in Guwahati for the finals of the Federation Cup. But it was the former, who routed Aizawl 5-0 to clinch a record 14th Federation Cup title. A brace by Jeje Lalpekhlua and goals by Sony Norde, Dhanachandra Singh and Bikramjit Singh ensured that the dream run of the Aizawl club ended on a tragic note.
Not shy of the competition here, Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen announced a full strength squad. The only absentee from the regular list of starting XI was Lenny Rodrigues. On the other hand, Aizawl too fielded the best of what was available sans their captain David Lalrinmuana.
It was half of hit and miss as the first half ended in a stalemate for both the teams. Aizawl had more possession in the attacking third, but their forward line was utterly sloppy near the box and missed plenty of opportunities.
As for Bagan, the combination of Sony Norde, Jeje Lalpekhlua and Cornell Glen worked really well up ahead, but they were provided with very minimum chances from the midfield. Most of the initial attacks for Bagan were constructed from the left flank and were very well organised. But the unidirectional flow of the attacked hampered their chances largely.
Bagan had the chance to go one up right in the third minute when Norde and Katsumi exchanged brilliant balls. But when passed to Jeje, he failed to connect his foot with greater strength and missed the opportunity.
As for Aizawl, who seems to have a greater fan base in Guwahati, they were a awarded a free kick in the 15th minute. But captain Alfred missed the first real opportunity of the Mizoram club as he overhit the ball. Rain created further havoc for the team in red (Aizawl) as the players, usually used to practising in the Astroturf, could be seen slipping on the run.
Local Mizo boy Jeje, who was often booed by opposition Aizawl fans, combined well with Sony Norde and kept Bagan in the hunt, but the half ended with no goals on the score sheet.
The second half bore good results for the Kolkata side as right in the 48th minute, the dangerous Sony Norde broke the deadlock with a brilliant goal. It was an initial shot by Cornell Glen, but Norde hit the ball really hard from nearly 12 yards out to give Bagan the lead.
The shift of momentum was apparent. Aizawl who pushed things really hard in the first half had to tone down their game and Bagan improved their physical game. The short Mizo players found it really difficult to stretch inside the box and could not capitalise on their air borne chances.
Meanwhile, in the 58th minute, Dhanachandra Singh scored the second goal for Bagan to strengthen things further. It was a corner by Katsumi, which the unmarked Singh comfortably headed into the back of the net.
The second goal yielded two changes for the Aizawl side but it resulted in nothing as Mizo boy Jeje scored the third for Bagan in the 77th minute to almost end hopes for Aizawl.
But could things be further worsened for the red brigade here? Yes, because Bikramjit Singh combined well with Norde to score the fourth in the 82nd minute. In the dying moments, Jeje scored his second of an Azharuddin Mullick cross to further humiliate Aizawl with a five-goal, five-star performance.
It’s been another rout for Bagan here in Guwahati as they clinched their 14th title in style.