Mohun Bagan romped to a 3-1 win over Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal on Sunday evening.
Fran Gonzalez (14') opened the scoring from the spot and two strikes in quick succession from Joseba Beitia (22') and Papa Diawara (23') sealed the three points. Joel Sunday (35') got one consolation goal for the home supporters.
Mohun Bagan coach made three changes to the line up that defeated Churchill Brothers 3-0 with Lalramchullova, Dhanachandran Singh and Komron Tursunov featuring in the first team.
His opposite number Nandha Kumar Singh also made three alterations. Centre back Oguchi Uche, left-back Denechandram Meitei, and winger Premjit Singh came into the starting line-up.
Mohun Bagan started the match on the front foot and could have put the match to bed within the first six minutes if they had converted their chances. In the third minute, VP Suhair twisted and turned to outfox Deepak Devrani but his venomous left-footer missed the far post by a whisker. Up next, it was unmarked Fran Gonzalez who was guilty of missing an open net.
But the Mariners did not have to wait long for the opener, as Gonzalez made amends for his earlier miss by converting a penalty. TRAU keeper Sayan Roy jumped in the right direction but the Spaniard perfectly placed his shot to beat the diving shot-stopper.
The Manipuri outfit woke up from their slumber after conceding and started making inroads in the opposition half. But while venturing forward they left spaces at the back and Bagan made them pay by scoring twice in two minutes.
Joseba Beitia scored a brilliant piledriver from outside the box and hardly had TRAU restarted proceedings as Diawara found the net after Tursunov played him through from the right flank.
In the 35th minute, TRAU got a glimmer of hope when Joel Sunday tapped in from a close-range with Joseph Mayowa setting him up for a shot.
Mohun Bagan were more measured after the break. They were happy to knock the ball around the park instead of charging at TRAU. Beitia dictated the tempo of the game from the centre of the park.
In the 70th minute, Bagan were reduced to 10-men when Tursunov was shown a second yellow card after a mistimed tackle on Dinesh Singh. TRAU failed to make use of the numerical advantage and succumbed to a defeat against the league leaders.