Calcutta: Okolie Odafe and Tolgay Ozebe fired in tandem as McDowell Mohun Bagan blanked a hapless Southern Samity 5-0 in the CFL Premier Division Super Nine tie, at the Salt Lake Stadium, on Monday.
Odafe recorded a hat-trick, which keeps him in good stead, especially before the upcoming contests against stronger opponents. Samity’s below-par defence notwithstanding, Bagan will certainly be boosted by the rhythm and verve both Odafe and Tolgay operated with.
Importantly, the present form of the duo brings in some relief for Bagan, more so, as they are still battling hard to save relegation from the I-League.
“Both Tolgay and I have had one of the best matches as a pair so far. If this form continues, I don’t think other teams will have it easy against us,” Odafe said later.
The floodgates were opened as early as in the 10th minute when Odafe, charging down the centre, dodged past three Samity defenders and unleashed a pile-driver to perfection. Bagan doubled their lead just two minutes later as the Nigerian, completely unchallenged inside the box, comfortably nodded home a cross from Rajib Ghosh.
Odafe’s hat-trick should have come in the 20 th minute itself had his right-footer not sailed over the crosspiece, off Tolgay’s set up. However, Tolgay, on his part, converted with a curling right-footer from top of the box — playing a one-two with Quinton Jacobs — to bring up Bagan’s third goal at the half-hour mark.
Odafe finally got his third, chipping home Jacobs’ centre late in the second session. Towards close of play, Odafe’s shot came off the vertical and fell for Tolgay, who made sure to put it in.
The loss cost Samity coach Shabbir Ali his job.