New Delhi: Mohun Bagan began their campaign in the Durand Cup without hiccup when they outclassed ONGC 5-1 in a Group II quarter-final league at the Ambedkar Stadium on Wednesday.
The victory has put Mohun Bagan in an advantageous position in the three-team group as they now need a draw against JCT in the last league match to advance to the semi-finals. JCT had won 1-0 against ONGC.
Pitted against a team that looked absolutely clueless both in the defence and midfield, the 16-time champions camped themselves in the rival half from the very beginning. The Calcutta team, who were up by two goals by the 15th minute, scored through Surkumar Singh (2), Edeh Chidi (2) and Jose Ramirez Barreto.
In between the second and the third goal, Mohun Bagan also missed a penalty when Barreto was brought down inside the box by defender A. Naresh. Barreto himself took the spot kick that was saved by a diving ONGC goalkeeper Bilifang Narzary.
The Mumbai team custodian, however, wasnt in his elements when Surkumar Singh struck the first goal in the eighth minute. The Mohun Bagan right back swung a speculative shot towards the rival goal but Narzary, to the utter shock and dismay of his teammates, fumbled to collect and the ball bounced and hit the post before crossing the line.
Surkumar Singh had a field day as he picked up his second goal well into the add-on time with a booming 30-yard shot. Encouraged by the success, Mohun Bagan increased the pressure. While their midfielders won almost every ball in the middle, both Edeh Chidi and Barreto looked dangerous whenever they had the ball. In the 18th minute, Chidi picked up the second goal off a melee inside the box.
The Nigerian then played a role behind Barreto getting his first goal of the season. Chidi was again on the target in the 78th minute while Babatunde pulled one back for ONGC three minutes later.
Mohun Bagan: Sangram Mukherjee; Surkumar Singh, Deepak Mondal, Rakesh Masih and Mohanraj; James Singh Subhojit Majumdar, 72nd), Micky Fernandes, K Kulothungan (Subha Kumar, 82nd) and Snehasish Chakraborty (Santakumar, 64th); Edeh Chidi and Jose Ramirez Barreto.
ONGC: Billifang Narzary; KV Kalu, Kamal Thapa, Chukwuma Udofia and CS Saleel; L Lalmaunpuia, Sandip Sanga, J Lalsangzuala (C Kenistan, 71st) and A Naresh; Kaushik Bose and Babatunde.
Referee: A Rowann (Services).