Bagan Starts With A Bang, Courtesy JeJe


Salgaocar-2, Mohun Bagan-3

Goa:  Salgaocar FC were beaten 2-3 by Mohun Bagan in a first leg Federation Cup encounter at the Tilak Maidan stadium, on Monday. Martin Scott (26′) and Calvin Mbarga (31′) did get on the scoresheet for the hosts but Jeje Lalpekhlua’s (1′, 85′) brace aided by a strike from Abhishek Das (77′) secured the win for the away side.

The game got off to an absolute flier as Jeje Lalpekhlua put the visitors ahead with the very first attack in the opening minute. The away team advanced down the right flank from where Subhash Singh delivered a cross which was headed in by the Indian international.

Ten minutes later, Darryl Duffy went close to an equaliser for the hosts as his curling free-kick went just wide. The Scot’s snapshot in the 16th minute meanwhile, was cleared off the line by Kinshuk Debnath.

Salgaocar did however restore parity not long after. Saran’s diagonal pass from the left found Martin Scott who made space for himself before firing his effort into the back of the net from outside the area in the 26th minute.

The Greens then took the lead five minutes later. Duffy did well to get a cross in from the left flank and Calvin Mbarga met the delivery with a header to make it 2-1 to the home team.

Duffy was in the thick of things again as he latched onto Augustin Fernandes’ long ball forward but his header was straight at Debjit Majumder in goal as his side took a 2-1 lead into the break.

The first chance in the second period fell to the away side. Prabir Das stooped low to steer his header just wide of the target from Yusa Katsumi’s cross in the 58th minute.

In the 69th minute, a move initiated by Lenny Rodrigues saw Prabir square the ball to Jeje but the striker’s effort on the turn was saved by Karanjit Singh.

Abhishek Das was brought on in place of Subhash Singh in the 77th minute and scored within seconds. Yusa’s cross from the right flank saw the substitute apply the finishing touch to draw his side level at 2-2.

Bagan then went ahead in the 85th minute as Jeje scored his second of the game. He brought down Sobrosa’s pass on his chest before fending off the challenge from Augustin and beating Karanjit with a shot on the turn to make it 2-3 to the visitors.

Salgaocar were awarded a free-kick deep into stappage time and while Duffy’s effort penetrated the wall, Majumder was alert enough to keep it out, protecting Bagan’s slender lead.

The match ended in a 2-3 away win for the Mariners who also boast three away goals ahead of the second leg.