Calcutta: Lajong FC got off to a flying start in the Federation Cup by crushing Salgaocar FC 4-0 in a Group C match, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Kochi, on Wednesday.
While Seikhohao Tuboi and Redeem Tlang scored one each for the Shillong side in the first half, Taisuke Matsugae scored the third in the 46th minute with Trinidad and Tobago World Cupper Cornell Glen completing the rout in the 63rd minute.
In a Group B match, Sporting Clube de Goa staged a late surge but it was Bengaluru FC who had the last laugh as they won 5-3 at the MDSC Stadium, in Manjeri. Robin Singh netted the winner and his second goal in the last minute of added time to ensure three points for the Bangalore side.
Earlier, for Bengaluru FC, Beikhokhei struck a brace (5, 40) while Sunil Chetri added one in the 33rd minute. Robin Singh had scored his first in the 60th minute. Clube scored all their goals in the second half. Boima Karpeh (74), Beevan Mello (89), Victorino (90+1) were the scorers for the Goan side.
It was a fantastic display by Lajong. They played accurate passes, moved swiftly and enjoyed better ball possession. Add to it the subtle touches and Lajong coach Thangboi Singto couldn’t have asked for more. The most impressive footballer for the Shillong outfit was Cornell. He made an impact whenever he received the ball. His ability to stay away from his marker and that sudden burst made it all the more difficult for Salgaocar players to stop him.
Lajong could have taken the lead as early as in the fifth minute but India goalkeeper Karanjit Singh came to Salgaocar’s rescue as he thwarted Cornell’s effort. As Cornell cut inside from the right into the 18-yard box, Karanjit narrowed down the angle and then blocked the shot.