Guwahati, May 30 (IANS) Shillong Lajong saved themselves from relegation in the I-League, and in some style, as they powered five goals past a hapless East Bengal, winning their final tournament game 5-1 at the Nehru Stadium here on Saturday.
It was Lajong’s Trinidadian marksman Cornell Glen who netted a hat-trick while the other two goals were scored by Zodingliana Ralte and Seminlen Doungel. Cavin Lobo featured on the scoresheet for the losers.
With the result, East Bengal finished fourth in the standings with 29 points from 20 matches with eight wins as Lajong ended in ninth spot with 23 points with six wins.
It was midfielder Ralte for Lajong who opened the deadlock in the 21st minute as he found himself at the end of a delightful ball from Glen and the medio did not disappoint the home crowd as he buried it in to the net.
East Bengal was quick to respond as Lobo restored parity for the visitors as he drilled one from the edge of the box in the 32nd minute. Both teams went in to half-time locked at 1-1.
After the breather all hell broke loose for East Bengal as Glen stepped up the gas for his side. Three minutes into the second half and the burly Trinidadian found the back of the net with a strike from the edge of box to give his side a 2-1 lead.
East Bengal staged a few counter attacks after the Glen strike, but the away side had no clue what was in store in the next 20 minutes.
Brazilian striker Doungel, who came in as a substitute for Uilliams Bomfim, scored for Lajong just a few seconds after coming on to the pitch.
The 33-year-old Glen completed his hat-trick as he headed in a Milan Singh free-kick in the 81st minute to take his season tally to 16 goals, also earning the man-of-the-match award.