I-League: Bagan rout Bengaluru for sparkling end to campaign

Siliguri, April 23 (IANS) Cornell Glenn struck twice as Mohun Bagan thrashed newly-crowned I-League champions Bengaluru FC 5-0 to end their thrilling, but ultimately disappointing campaign on a high note at the Kanchanjangha Stadium here on Saturday.

Glenn (8th, 66th minutes) started the rout early on before Lenny Rodrigues (21st), Luciano Sabrosa (23rd) and Azharuddin Mallick (28th) also found the target as Mohun Bagan showcased their considerable attacking prowess. The scoreline could have been even more impressive if the Mohun Bagan forwards had not wasted quite a few relatively easy chances that came their way.

Mohun Bagan thus finished at the second spot with 30 points while Bengaluru ended with two points more to bag their second I-League title in three years.

With the title already in the bag, Bengaluru coach Ashley Westwood made as many as seven changes with John Johnson, Kim Song-Yong, Sunil Chhetri and Eugeneson Lyngdoh being rested.

Mohun Bagan turned on the style right from the start and it took just eight minutes for them to surge into the lead. Norde used his speed to good effect to make his way into the box before crossing for an unmarked Glen who bulged the net with a powerful header.

Bengaluru goalkeeper Amrinder Singh prevented Glenn from doubling the lead off an excellent pass from Katsumi Yusa when he produced a fine save to keep out the striker’s attempt.

The vocal Mohun Bagan fans in the stands did not have to wait too long for the second goal however, as star winger Sony Norde dribbled past four defenders and found Yusa who made an excellent run before pulling the ball back from the goalline for Rodrigues to power home. Sobrosa got the hosts’ third goal when he headed in a free-kick by Katsumi.

The overjoyed home crowd found even more reason to celebrate just five minutes later when Azharuddin headed in off another free-kick from Katsumi.

Mohun Bagan continued in the same fashion after the re-start as the visitors were forced to resort to desparate defending in their own half for the most part. Although Bengaluru attempted to catch their opponents off-guard on the counter several times, they were thwarted by an alert Mohun Bagan defence.

The visitors suffered a further setback in the 50th minute when they were reduced to 10 men after Keegan Pereira picked up his second booking for a foul on Glenn.

Glenn added to Bengaluru’s woes when he came up with a fine finish off Katsumi’s cross to score the fifth goal for the hosts.

Jeje Lalpekhlua had a goal disallowed for offside after he had tapped in a ball from the right. The Mohun Bagan frowards continued to put the visitors under pressure but a series of poor finishing prevented any further additon to their tally.

Meanwhile at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, Goa, Sporting Clube de Goa ended their campaign with a 3-0 rout of Salgaocar FC. Pratesh Shirodkar (6th miunute), Sumit Passi (30th) and Victorino Fernandes (83rd) found the target as Sporting ended at the fourth spot with 22 points. Salgaocar signed off a disappointing campaign with 16 points to finish at the sixth spot in the nine-team table.

Pratesh found an early lead for Sporting when Salgaocar goalkeeper Karanjit palmed out a corner. The ball travelled to Pratesh at the top of the penalty box and he put Sporting in the lead with a beautiful right-footed shot from 25 yeards.

Passi doubled the lead on the half-hour mark when he tapped in off a cross from Rowllin Borges. Victorino produced a fine left-footed finish in the closing stages to complete the rout.

–IANS

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