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Odafe scores a hat-trick

Calcutta: Kalighat MS were not a strong opposition. But even then, Mohun Bagan should be pleased with their thumping 5-0 win in Saturday’s CFL Championship Round tie, here at the Salt Lake Stadium.

The win ensured Mohun Bagan finished 2013 on a positive note, with Okolie Odafe recording his first hat-trick this season. And that matters for Mohun Bagan. Their linchpin is back doing what he does best — score.

It augurs really well for them, especially with the Federation Cup being just round the corner along with the remaining I-League matches.

Apart from scoring thrice, Odafe also had an assist, which took Mohun Bagan on the ascendancy towards the end of the first session. Off his centre, Ram Malik evaded a marker, positioned himself nicely and shot home a left-footer, making it 1-0 for Bagan.

Their lead got doubled soon after the break when Ravinder Singh’s corner went in, off a deflection from Kallol Pal. Thereafter, it was all about Odafe.

Against a brittle Kalighat MS defence, the Nigerian looked to be scoring every time he had the ball. And in a space of two minutes, he had as many goals to his name. In the 54th minute, Odafe got his first, off a centre from C.S. Sabeeth. He scored again in the 56th, placing the ball smartly past rival goalkeeper, off Katsumi Yusa’s set up.

At one stage, it seemed as if Odafe wasn’t destined for a hat-trick, with a couple of attempts hitting the woodwork. Eventually, though, he did get it, seconds before the final whistle. He latched on to a long ball and comfortably slotted it past the goalkeeper to round things off in style.

TEAMS

Mohun Bagan: Shilton Paul, Shouvik Ghosh, Rowilson Rodrigues (Rana Gharami, 73), Kinshuk Debnath, Aiborlang Khongjee, Ravinder Singh (Rajib Ghorui, 62), Pankaj Moula (Adarsh Lama Tamang, 86), Ram Malik, Katsumi Yusa, Sabeeth Sathyan, Okolie Odafe

Kalighat MS: Suvam Sen, Supriya Bhakat, Mohan Sarkar, Prosenjit Neogi, Prosenjit Paul, Kallol Pal (Kazi Kutubuddin, 61), Arijit Bagui, Bhim Oraon, Saikat Patra, Zodinliana, Joel Sunday

Referee: Biplab Poddar