Mohun Bagan earn away goal advantage, beat Salgaocar 3-2
Jeje Lalpekhlua’s brace helped Mohun Bagan defeat Salgaocar FC 3-2 in a closely-fought away quarterfinal game of the Federations Cup in Goa on Monday.
In front of an audience of 3400, an early first-minute goal by Jeje put the Mariners on the front. After being down by a goal, Salgaocar soon collected their men for a few good attacks which finally reaped in the 26th minute. Martin Scott smashed past Bagan’s goalkeeper Majumder after receiving a diagonal pass from Saran.
Bagan continued to attack in search of another goal but Salgaocar struck again in the 31st minute but this time, through Calvin Mbarga. Mbarga rose the highest to head in a cross by Duffy that he pulled off after showing some great skill on the left.
For the first time in the match, Salgaocar stood at the forefront with a lead on the scoreboard. Salgaocar took this opportunity to attack more and more at the Bagan goal but Majumder stood strong for his team.
The second half began with the Mariners trying hard to get back in the game through the efforts by Jeje and Subhash. Salgaocar didn’t back off either with Mbarga and Scott being a constant threat.
What changed the scenario for Bagan was the introduction of second substitute Abhishek Das whose fresh pair of legs tapped in a cross from Yusa in the 77th minute.
Salgaocar was unable to pull itself back from the Mariner’s attack and in the 85th minute, Jeje scored once again to give Bagan the 3-2 lead. Jeje shot the ball in as he chested down the pass from Sabrosa and shrugged off a challenge from Augustin. Salgaocar tried to fight back in the stoppage time as Duffy’s free-kick went past the wall but was well kept-out by Majumder.
The game proved to be Salgaocar’s fifth loss in six encounters with Bagan in a year.
After losing out on the I-League, Mohun Bagan, the 13-time champions of the Federations Cup, were looking to strengthen their feet in the competition with this win.
Evidently, the managerial issues at Salgaocar were highlighted in their game where despite having the lead at half-time, they couldn’t bring freshness in the second half which cost them the match.
Mohun Bagan will now host the second leg on Thursday with an away-goal advantage which will keep their hopes of the final high while Salgaocar will have a tough time dissolving the three away goals earned by the Mariners.
In the second leg, Salgaocar will have to keep at least a 2-goal difference on the scoreboard if they want to make it to the final.