Shillong Lajong FC emerged victorious and registered a 5-4 win over Mohammedan Sporting in what was a Thrilling Nine Goals encounter of the I-League 2013-14 season at the Salk Lake Stadium, in Kolkata on Wednesday afternoon.
This is the highest goal scoring match thus far this season of the I-League, with a hat trick from Cornell Glen and a brace from Subash Singh for Lajong while Penn Orji and Biswas each scored a goal and Josimar scored a brace for Mohammedan Sporting.
Lajong Striker Cornell Glen is now the highest goal scorer in the I-League alongside Indian team captain Sunil Chhetri, with 13 goals so far in this season of the I-League.
The game started with a high tempo as Mohammedan Sporting took an early lead when Basanta Singh’s cross found Ashim Biswas who headed the ball into the back of the net in the 5th minute. The home side added a lot of pressure on the visiting team creating good chances in the first ten minutes of the match. But the pressure immediately shifted when Luis Barreto was given a straight Red Card in the 12th minute after he fouled Boithang Haokip inside the penalty box. Trinidad and Tobago International, Cornell Glen stepped up and converted the penalty to level the score in the 16th minute.
Even though the home side were playing with ten players only, the tempo of the game did not diminish as both sides looked eager to score more goals. Then in the 29th minute, Brazilian forward, Uilliams Souza delivered a beautiful cross from the left to find Subash Singh, who made no mistake in heading the ball past the keeper, giving his side a one goal lead. A few minutes later though, Mohammedan Sporting equalised after some good work from Josimar who made a good pass to Penn Orji, for an easy tap in. Josimar could have given his side the lead but he failed to convert a one on one chance with the Lajong keeper, who made many important saves throughout the game. Both sides were attacking well and looking to score the important goal before half time and it was Lajong who took the chance after a superb cross by Robin Gurung found striker Cornell Glen who volleyed the shot to give Lajong the lead again in the 43rd minute. The first half ended 2-3 in favour of the visiting team.
Mohammedan Sporting started the second half with greater determination as they equalised immediately through Josimar’s goal in the 46th minute. The home team were surprisingly enjoying more possession of the goal even with ten players only and created a couple of good chances but could not convert few of their one on one chances. Then in the 60th minute, Mohammedan Sporting was awarded a penalty after a foul from a Lajong defender inside the penalty box. Captain, Luciano stepped up to take then penalty but could not give his side the lead as Lalthuammawia Ralte guessed right and saved the penalty. This boosted the confidence of the Lajong players and Thangboi Singto’s men pressed hard to get back into the game. Their efforts were later rewarded when Minchol Son placed the ball very well for Subash Singh to give his side the lead in the 69th minute with a thunderous strike. Lajong did not back down as Cornell Glen completed his hat trick in the 74th minute after a good delivery from Uilliams to double the lead for Lajong. Many may not have expected the game to be a high scoring encounter as the action resumed, when Josimar scored his brace in the 79th minute to give his side some hope with ten minutes left to play. Lajong however stayed focussed till the end to secure three points and Mohammedan Sporting were left ruing their chances as the game ended 4-5.
With this win Lajong are now fifth in the table with 32 points and will play their next match against Rangdajied United FC on the 21st April in the second leg of the Shillong Derby.
Man of the Match: Cornell Glen.