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Mohun Bagan outshine Maldives outfit

By Sports reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 24 - Hosts Mohun Bagan Athletic Club of Kolkata was too good to the little known Maldives outfit Maziya Sports and Recreation Club as the visitors suffered 5-2 drubbing in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup encounter here at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Sarusajai here on Wednesday.

Leading 3-0 at the breather at the break, Bagan pumped on two more in the second session.

Bagan seized early initiative with the foreign recruits Sony Norde, Cornell Glen and Katsumi Yusa linked up brilliantly in their attacking zone. They created first opening opportunity in the very second minute but the Indian star Lalpekhlua Jeje failed to push home from a close range off a centre from Katsumi.

But their constant pressure finally yielded result in the 16th minute when Sony Norde opened the account in the 16th minute converting a set piece from 30 metres. After the goal the Kolkata giant enhanced their momentum and initiated a series of forays totally outshining the Maldives defenders.

The home team increased the margin in the 32nd minute through Jeje who pumped home with a firm drive anticipating a low cross from Sony who was on song at the left flank. Cornel Glenn made it 3-0 after two minutes off a melee.

The Maldives outfit was not at all in right form and their frontliners were heavily guarded and never allowed to cruise into the Bagan danger zone. Imaaz Ahmed was the lone attacker to draw some respectability with his individual skill. Their middle zone players Yaamin and Easa Ismail could not impress much to provide any support to their attackers and defenders as well. But their opponent midfielders Pronoy Halder, Katsumi and Lenny Rodrigues were far superior and have acted like powerhouse to switch all the moves in quick succession.

After the break the team woke up from slumber and started raiding the opponent territory with some planned moves. In the 61st minute they reduced the margin when the dangerman Imaaz neatly placed the ball into the Bagan net off a Easa pass who got the ball from right winger Nashid.

But their jubilation was short lived as Jeje made it 4-1 the 69th minute. Bagan took two minutes to score the fifth goal as Cornell put the ball into the empty goal. The Maldives team�s defence was virtually shattered as they were forced to make mistakes by the fast-moving Bagan attackers.

However, a self goal by Bagan defender Raju Eknath Gaikwad in the 76th minute made the scoreline 5-2. Raju put the ball into his own goal while trying clear Lenny�s miscued shot.

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