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

Jeje Lalpekhlua hattrick leads Mohun Bagan to 5-0 win

Match action from the Mohun Bagan AC v Shillong Lajong FC encounter.

Former Hero I-League champions Mohun Bagan AC steamrolled Shillong Lajong FC 5-0 in their first leg of the semi-final clash in the Hero Federation Cup 2016 at the Barasat Stadium in Kolkata today (May 8, 2016).

Sanjoy Sen made two changes from the 4-0 drubbing of Salgaocar. Cornell Glen was passed fit to start with Pronay Halder marshalling midfield instead of Lenny Rodrigues. Azharuddin Mallick missed out as under fire Pritam Kotal retained his place at full back. The visitors had two changes of their own. Quarter final hero Uilliams Souza was ushered in place of Samuel Lalmuanpuia and schoolboy Rupert Nongrum played in place of Bipin Singh, changing flanks with Isaac Vanmalsawma.

The home side had three corners wasted in the opening few minutes; one which nearly saw the net but went above the net off a Sony Norde flagkick. Shillong Lajong started to play wide against the strength of the hosts as Boithnag Haokip and Penn Orji spelled trouble early on.

The visitors were the aggressors in the opening twenty minutes of the game. Nigerian stalwart Penn Orji took a swipe on goal which went above the bar. Konsham Chinglensana Singh was brilliant in keeping Mohun Bagan danger man Cornell Glen inside his pocket as the 35 year old fell into the offside trap numerous times in the first half.

Three minutes after the half hour mark, Sony Norde missed a glaring opportunity to open the scoring. The Haitian took a swipe unmarked, which fell into the wrong side of the net on the farside. However, Jeje Lalpekhlua broke the deadlock five minutes from the half time whistle. Bikramjit Singh released Sony Norde whose shot was blocked off by Vishal Kaith. The loose ball was tapped home as Bagan took a solitary goal lead.

Bikramjit Singh made it 2-0 right on the stroke of the whistle. Jeje and Glen ran into the box as the latter flicked into space on the left for a surging Bikramjit who powerfully hit the bar as the ball went inside the net, as the half-time scoreline read 2-0 in Bagan’s favour.

Six minutes after resumption, Jeje got his brace. Sony flicked it to Glen who broke away from his marker to send it goalwards. Jeje slid right through and helped the ball go into the net past a hapless Lajong keeper.

Five minutes later, Jeje notched up his first hat-trick of the season. Katsumi started the move and passed it onto Glen who shimmied in past two defenders to send a low cross to Jeje who toed it into target, making 4-0 in favour of the hosts.

Thangboi Singto’s second half plan failed miserably as his tactic of putting bodies up into the attacking half backfired as Mohun Bagan made them dance to their tunes.

Cornell Glen and Sony Norde were taken off to provide them some rest for the upcoming matches. But youngster Azharuddin Mallick came good for the Green and Maroons. A throw-in from near the box saw Sony Norde pass it to the unmarked youngster who flicked it past an unsolicited defense line.

Late into injury time, Souvik Chakraborty missed a chance to score the first of his season as he took a bobble form a clear chance from Jeje’s pass but the referee blew the whistle soon, as the full-time scoreline read 5-0 in Bagan’s favour.

(Report courtesy AIFF Media / Photo courtesy Shillong Lajong FC)