SILCHAR, May 1 � It was a friendly outing on paper. But on the park, the match between McDowell Mohun Bagan AC and Lajong FC Shillong, was thoroughly a professional encounter in which the former thrashed the emerging team from the North East 4-0 at the SM Dev stadium here today.
The green-maroon team began from where it left in Kolkata against the same opponent. Even as both teams had their share of scoring opportunities, the Bagan boys dominated the first half. The 37th minute gentle push from striker Chizoba Christopher into the opposition net brought the crowd alive. Mohun Bagan went into the first half with a 1-0 lead.
In the 53rd minute, Ujjal Howladar outplayed the visibly feeble Lajong defence to score the second goal. This forced the Lajong think-tank to go for a couple of changes including goalkeeper Vinay Singh. The side�s star defender Boithang Haokip was the obvious call with his side in a huge spot of bother. But he could hardly change the fate as Manish Bhargav powerfully thudded onto the net courtesy a penalty in the 68th minute giving Bagan a comfortable 3-0 lead. And in the 85th minute, striker Ram Malik sealed victory for his team with the fourth goal of the match.
While Mohun Bagan looked more composed in their gameplan and body language, Lajong failed to capitalise on the conditions in what was believed to be their second home turf match before 20 thousand spectators.
Meanwhile, in a heated moment of the match, Bagan�s Chizoba Christopher and Jibon Singh of Lajong FC had to leave the ground facing red cards for breaching the spirit of the game.
Mohun Bagan players received the McDowell Friendship Cup from former Union Minister Santosh Mohan Dev in the presence of Ankur Dutta, secretary Assam Football Association and other dignitaries.
Babul Hore, secretary Silchar DSA thanked the football lovers for coming to the ground in such large numbers. He also thanked the sponsors and the associate partners, his colleagues and staff at the DSA and the journalists for their contributions in making the event a success.
Ankur Dutta said that the response from the crowd is a positive indication towards better matches in the State in the coming days.