Mohun Bagan edged past Shillong Lajong FC in a thrilling encounter as the visitors managed to earn three points away from home, winning by a scoreline of 4-3, in a Hero I League encounter at the JN Stadium Shillong on Friday evening.
Goals from Pierre Boya, Katsumi Yusa and a brace from Balwant Singh was good enough for the Mariners while goals for Lajong came from a brace via Cornell Glen and a goal from Uilliams.
The match started off really brightly for the visitors who had the first chance of the match in the second minute which lead to a goal for Balwant singh as he rolled the ball under the keeper and broke the deadlock.
It was a shocking blow for the home team as they conceded so early and the Game slowed down for a few minutes as both sides continued to search for goals. Then in the 15th minute, Norde had a chance as he fired at goal but the ball was scuffled on the ground. The ball fell conveniently at the feet of Balwant Singh who scored with an easy tap in.
Mohun Bagan seemed really confident as Lajong proved to be very shaky at the back and the attackers could not hold possession. The crowd tried to encourage the home team to fight back and they did so in the 27’ minute when they earned a corner. Boithang stepped up to take it and struck a beautiful delivery that went directly into the heart of the box. Glen rose up to the occasion as he leaped up unmarked and headed home a powerful shot to put Lajong back in the game.
The Goal inspired the team for a fight back and the Fans were cheering them on as they searched for the equalizer with the scoreline 1-2 in favour of the Mariners. The Reds Gathered some Momentum and picked up the pace. They held procession and terrorized the opponent’s half with shots after shots. Seiminlen almost levelled the tie as he got in front of the keeper and flicked the header on. Nothing came out of it as it went over the goal post.
Near the end of the first half both teams played good attacking football. Mohun Bagan almost clinched a third goal but Lajong’s defence was strong and resolute.
Second half kicked off with both teams playing attractive football. Lajong had plenty of chances but Mohun Bagan’s custodian parried off shot after shot.
The reds kept pressing forward and won a corner in the 64th minute. The corner was not cleared well by Mohun Bagan and a shot from inside the box lead to a handball and the referee awarded a penalty. Glen stepped up to take the penalty and made no mistake in earning the equalising goal for Lajong.
Lajong had gained a lot of momentum and could have taken the lead. But Mohun Bagan were not ready to give up. In the 74th minute, Left back Dhanachandra Singh made a beautiful cross into the box and found Japanese Katsumi Yusa unmarked and he headed the ball past the keeper.
The game was proving to be a filled with goals as both teams had a lot of chances to score more goals. However, Sony Norde’s excellent dribbling skills could not be dealt with by the Lajong defence and he earned a penalty for the Mariners in the 82nd minute. Pierre Boya stepped up and scored the fourth goal for Mohun Bagan. Once again Lajong found themselves behind two goals as the score line was 2-4 with only few minutes left.
Lajong countered the attack in the 89th minute, and Boithang made a cross from the left. The ball went straight to Uilliams who placed the ball past the keeper. The Reds pressed hard for the fourth goal to earn a point but the visitors managed to thwart off all the chances giving them a well fought three points.
Shillong Lajong will travel to Goa to play their next match on 3rd March against Salgaocar FC.