THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Shillong Lajong FC thrash Mumbai FC

Seikhohao Tuboi

Shillong Lajong FC managed to savage a 4-0 win in their final Federation Cup Group C match against Mumbai FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi on Tuesday.

Cornell Glen was once again the star of the match with an impressive performance and his first Federation Cup hat trick. Glen is now the highest goal scorer of the 35th Federation Cup 2014 so far.

The Reds started the match with a clear indication of winning it and by a big margin as well. They were chasing for a spot in the semifinals which would require them to better group leaders Mohun Bagan’s goal difference of 7 goals.

The game remained in midfield for the first few minutes of the match with both teams vying for possession. Lajong almost went up in the 10th minute after Lalchhuanmawia Fanai made a brilliant run from the left flank and fired a cross which found Redeem Tlang just outside the box. But Tlang’s effort was blocked for a corner. The chance sparked of a similar attack at the opposite end of the field when Henry Ezeh should have scored for Mumbai FC, only for his shot to be denied by the Lajong custodian Vinay Singh whose touch sent the ball off the post and back into the goalkeeper’s hands.

End to end football then found Cornell Glen brought down in the box. Lajong striker Subash Singh had a brilliant run into the box and his shot was saved by Mumbai goalie Kunal Sawant who couldn’t really clear it away from danger and saw the ball at Glen’s feet only for him to be brought down in the box by Sawant. Glen then converted the penalty in the 15th minute. Lajong kept pressing and found their second in the 23rd minute through a beautiful thunderous long range strike from Boithang Haokip.

The goal though did not force Mumbai into a more defensive approach as Khalid Jamil insisted on his team to keep pressing for a goal and even bringing in striker Jayesh Rane early in the 38th minute. Attacking plays from both sides created no more goals as the half ended with Thangboi Singto’s men going into the break with a two goal cushion.

The second half started much the same way as the first with Mumbai FC creating chances but the strike partnership of Henry Ezeh and Yusif Yakubu could not really convert any after Vinay Singh remained the difference in front of goal for The Reds.

The match remained to be an attacking frenzy for both teams which then resulted in Lajong’s third goal in the 52nd minute. A smart counter attack saw Subash Singh put in a beautiful lobbed cross over the Mumbai defence to find Glen, who made no mistake to complete his second goal. Lajong kept pressing and should have scored a lot more than the final score after a lot of easy chances were not converted successfully. Bipin Singh came on for Subash Singh and Tuboi came on for Boithang Haokip but the changes could not yield more goals for The Reds.

Shillong Lajong kept constructing their attacks well and they were rewarded in the 89th minute when Glen was brought down again by substitute Khelemba Meitei – but this time just outside the box. Khelemba should have been sent off as there were no defenders ahead of Glen and the Trinidad & Tobago international had an easy chance on goal. Glen stepped up to take the free kick himself and curled it around the Mumbaikars wall into the bottom corner to complete his hat trick. That was the last real attack of the match as the game ended convincingly in Lajong’s favour.