By I-League Media
SILIGURI: Hero I-League runners-up Mohun Bagan made it a double over champions Bengaluru FC as they mercilessly dismantled the Blues at the Siliguri Stadium. It was a Mariners show with a brace from Cornell Glen (8′, 66′) and goals from Lenny Rodrigues (21′), Luciano Sabrosa (23′), Azharuddin Mullick (28′) giving them a thumping 5-0 victory over the newly crowned champions.
Incidentally, it is the first occasion when Bengaluru FC conceded five goals in an I-League match. Meanwhile, it’s the first instance of conceding five goals by an I-League champion.
While Mohun Bagan made five changes from their last match, Bengaluru made as many as seven changes. Cornell Glen started upfront with Azharuddin Mullick while Katsumi Yusa and Sony Norde patrolled the wings for the former champions.
Ashley Westwood rested key personnel putting Seiminlen Doungel and Alwyn George in the attack. Keegan Pereira combined with Curtis Osano at the heart of the defence with John Johnson rested.
The Mariners took only eight minutes to open the scoring as an unmarked Cornell Glen headed in Sony Norde’s inch-perfect delivery from the left, past a hapless Amrinder Singh.
Amrinder came to his side’s rescue about ten minutes later as he palmed away Cornell Glen’s shot off a Katsumi pass.
The delicious Bagan attack combined again to devastating effect in the 21st minute. Sony Norde dribbled past effortlessly around four Blues’ players before playing it to Katsumi on the byline. The Japanese’s delivery in the box was slotted home by an onrushing Lenny Rodrigues.
Just two minutes later, it got even worse for the champions as Fanai ended up fouling Azhar down the right. Katsumi’s free kick was powerfully headed in by Luciano who had no problem in scoring Bagan’s third.
Youngster Mullick finally got his reward for his toils upfront as he tapped home Raju Gaikwad’s cross in the 28th minute from the right after Glen missed it, beating Amrinder at the near post.
In the 36th minute, Bagan could have been 5-0 up as Sony Norde broke again before playing a lovely grounded diagonal through ball to Cornell Glen. However, a poor first touch from the Trinidad & Tobago striker saw his effort being blocked out by Amrinder who came off his line.
Bengaluru’s problems were compounded even further after the break as Keegan Pereira picked up his second yellow in the 51st minute, leaving his team down to 10-men.
With Katsumi and Sony dictating the match, Bagan missed a flurry of chances with Lenny Rodrigues and Glen playing spoilsport before Glen scored his second in the 66th minute. It was Katsumi again, who turned to be the provider as his cross was smashed into the net by Glen.
The introduction of Jeje Lalpekhlua almost yielded instant results as he found the back of the net moments after being brought on, but was marked offside in the 70th minute.
A flurry of chances as Bengaluru clearly lacked motivation, saw Jeje and Glen both missing chances as Mohun Bagan saw out their last match with a 5-0 masterclass.
The win allows Bagan to cement their runners-up position in the I-League while Bengaluru are crowned champions for the second time in three years.