Mohun Bagan outclassed Shillong Lajong 3-1 in the Super Cup 2018 quarterfinal on Wednesday at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar. The Kolkata giants will face the winner of the match between Bengaluru FC and NEROCA FC in the semifinal.
Bagan being the stronger side on paper, dominated the game and came out as the deserving winners against a young and inexperienced Lajong side. The Shillong-based club had missed a penalty in the initial stages of the match and also squandered several goal-scoring opportunities.
Speaking on his team's performace, coach Alison said, "Its not about wasting chances. The players have tried but hard luck. I cant blame them. The third goal of Mohun Bagan killed us. Most of my boys are very young. They have the technique but the experience is lacking."
When asked if the absence of star defender Juho-Ooh affected their game, the coach said, "I didn’t think we missed Juho-Ooh today. We had young players in our squad. Kenstar (Kharshong) played today. I don’t think it’s a big issue."
Goalkeeper Nidhin Lal was Lajong's star performer in the quarterfinal match against FC Pune City. The former Mumbai FC custodian single-handedly denied Pune from scoring several occasions in that. Surprisingly, he was missing in today's starting lineup as Phurba Lachenpa replaced him under the bar.
On Lal's omission, Alison mentioned, "Nidhin Lal was not well for the last two days, he had a Dysenteric problem. So he didn’t start today."
The Lajong concluded by suggesting that the Super Cup gave great experience and exposure to the youngsters of his side. "The most important thing for my young players is experience and exposure. I hope next season they will improve themselves," said the coach.
Sankarlal Chakraborty refused to blame striker Aser Dipanda who failed to find the back of the net today and missed quite a few chances. Chakraborty analysed Dipanda's performance saying, "Aser Dipanda was absolutely conscious. This happens sometimes. There will be ups and downs in football. He always scores but today he missed the chances. He created opportunity."
When asked about his pep talk for his boys at halftime when his team was leading 2-1, the Bagan coach said, "I didn’t give any pep talk. We discussed Lajong’s game and the boys played a much better game in the second half."