Mohun Bagan thump South China 4-0 to go top in AFC Cup

Hong Kong, March 9 (IANS) A scintillating display of offensive football by a rampaging Mohun Bagan enabled them to thump a 10-man Hong Kong’s South China 4-0 and go top of their AFC Cup group here on Wednesday.

Lenny Rodrigues (15th minute), Sony Norde (39th), Cornell Glen (45th) and Jeje Lalpekhlua (82nd) scored for the visitors at the Mong Kok Stadium in a supremely authoritative show. It was the reigning I-League champions’ second win in as many Group G matches in the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) second tier tournament.

They handed a similar thrashing to Maziya Sports and Recreation Club of the Maldives 5-2 in their group opener. It was South China’s second consecutive defeat that pegs them at the bottom of the four-team group.

Mohun Bagan were on the money from the first whistle as Trinidadian striker Glen sent his effort wide off the far post in the very first minute.

They needed 15 minutes to surge ahead. Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa’s swerving free-kick from just outside the penalty area hurried goalkeeper Hing Kit into a partial save, the rebound was headed into the net by an anticipating Rodrigues.

South China were left chasing the game and their problem magnified when Che Runqui was given his marching orders a minute later for a foul on Pronay Halder. It was his second yellow card in two minutes after an initial booking.

Mohun Bagan rammed home their numerical superiority by committing more men forward and were rewarded when Norde scored through a superb solo effort.

The Haitian forward intercepted a ball near the centreline and grassed his marker, turned left marched to the box and sent the ball right into the far corner.

Mohun Bagan secured the contest just before the half-time whistle when Glen neatly combined with Norde inside the box and scored from close range.

The break served little purpose for the home team as they continued to chase shadows and could have been further embarrassed South China had Norde and Katsumi converted the absolute chances that they squandered.

Jeje ornamented the scoreline with an unmarked header from the six-yard box, utilising an inviting delivery from Katsumi.

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