|Edeh Chidi vies for the ball with Jibon Singh, in Shillong, on Wednesday. Picture courtesy: Lajong FC
Calcutta /Shillong: Kingfisher East Bengal bucked the Lajong FC trend in style, routing the Shillong-based side 4-0 as they opened their Airtel I-League campaign in style, at the Nehru Stadium, here on Wednesday.
This was East Bengal’s first victory against Lajong in Shillong in four years.
The red-and-gold brigade blitzed off their blocks and created their first chance of the match when James Moga forced a save from Vinay Singh in the ninth minute.
Thereafter, the visitors piled on the pressure and were finally rewarded in the 20th when Moga nodded in past Vinay to open East Bengal’s account.
Lajong almost responded instantly with a Subash Singh scorcher, which flew over the crossbar. It was East Bengal, though, who once again found the net through Edeh Chidi, who latched on to a perfect pass from the wing to double the lead.
East Bengal coach Marcos Falopa then replaced an injured Reisangmi Vashum with Shylo Malsawtluanga in the 43rd minute. That brought the first half to a close, with East Bengal clearly looking the more dangerous at the break.
Crossing over, Lajong tried to pull back into the game. But Calvin Lobo put the game beyond doubt. Lobo curled in a beautiful ball past Vinay Singh into the far post to silence the home crowd.
Man of the Match Moga then completed the formalities with another sublime finish past the Lajong custodian to make it four for the day, in the 61st minute.
Lajong coach Thangboi Singto then brought in Tuboi for Uilliams, Lalramluaha for Milan Singh, and Samuel for Cornell Glen as the match ticked its way towards the final whistle.
This was Lajong’s biggest loss at home and it came against a team, who are, at present, in rousing form.
Falopa’s decision to travel to Shillong without Mehtab Hussain, Arnab Mondal, Gurpreet Singh, Saumik Dey and Naoba Singh did not have any effect on the performance of the team.
Subodh Kumar, who played in Mehtab’s position, was brilliant. There was one bad news though. Vashum’s knee injury would definitely be a cause of worry for Falopa.
“It’s a great victory. The confidence shown by the team was amazing. It shows we are on the right track. The team controlled the situation very well and we got the goals at the right time.
“I will not say this is a confidence booster before the AFC Cup match. I would rather say this was another chance for me to understand who stands where,” Falopa said from Shillong.
“Our team is on a roll. We always believed in ourselves. It’s great to score two goals under difficult circumstances.
“Beating Lajong in Shilling is no mean tasků Now our target is the October 22 match against Kuwait SC,” Wednesday’s hero Moga said.