Shillong Lajong 2-3 Mohun Bagan: The Mariners knock the Reds out of the Federation Cup
Samuel Shadap Sony Norde Shillong Lajong FC Mohun Bagan I-League 2017
I-League
A fast and furious encounter saw five goals but the Reds faltered at the last step as they were knocked out of the Fed Cup...

Mohun Bagan had to huff and puff at the end but ended up 3-2 winners over a dynamic Shillong Lajong in a Round II fixture of Federation Cup Group B at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. 

It was the Reds who had opened the scoring in the third minute of the match itself through a Pritam Kotal own goal but three strikes from Mohun Bagan sealed their fortunes with Darryl Duffy (5'), Sony Norde (27') and Katsumi Yusa (43') on the scoresheet. A late goal from Yuta Kinowaki (80') wasn't enough as Thangboi Singto's side exited the competition. 

Shillong Lajong had their key man Aser Dipanda missing due to a knock and Fabio Pena came into the side to lead the line. Meanwhile for Mohun Bagan, Debjit Majumder returned as the No. 1 after serving his suspension as Mohun Bagan continued with Darryl Duffy and Balwant Singh up front.

The match was off to a frenetic start and was not going to disappoint fans of either teams with Shillong Lajong surging into the lead in the third minute after Rupert Nongrum's lofted ball into the opposition box towards Fabio Pena saw Pritam Kotal haplessly put the ball into his own box in an effort to clear the danger. 

However Mohun Bagan equalised within two minutes after Duffy ran clear of the defense and got on the end of a through ball from Souvik Chakraborti as he effortlessly rounded Vishal Kaith who came off his line and slid the ball into the empty net. 

The game was just getting started as Isaac saw his freekick headed by Fabio only for Debjit to parry it onto the post before Anas Edathodika could hoof it clear in the 7th minute.

In the 14th minute, Aiborlang Khongjee came in with a timely goal line clearance after Duffy was looking to slot it into the empty net with Kaith again caught out of position. 

Just after Samuela saw his shot saved by Debjit, Mohun Bagan surged into the lead in the 27th minute after Sony Norde was brought down in dangerous territory. The Haitian slammed the ball into the right top corner with a wonderfully taken free kick giving Kaith no chance. 

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In the 39th minute, Kaith finally made amends as he made four saves in succession after some pinball in the box with Duffy trying to toe poke the ball into the net following a melee. 

Mohun Bagan made it 3-1 in the 43rd minute after Balwant Singh played Sony Norde down the left. Norde left his marker for dead and squared it towards the far post which saw a late Katsumi Yusa slide in to finish it off. 

The second half began slow with Bagan looking to sit on their lead. Prabir Das forced Kaith to save in the opening minutes before Balwant Singh failed to keep his header down in the 65th minute following a delectable Pritam Kotal cross. 

In the 72nd minute Prabir came up with a timely block of his own after Konsham almost turned in a corner with Debjit in no man's land. 

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Merely five minutes later, Sony again accelerated at will but with only Kaith to beat, he wanted to turn provider as he looked to pass it to Jeje on the far side which saw Konsham come in between and clear the danger.

Shillong Lajong had a faint glimmer of hope in the 80th minute after Yuto Kinowaki's shot from the edge of the box took a deflection and popped into the net, after Debjit went the wrong way. This was possible after some good feet by Alan Deory who chose to pick out the Japanese midfielder instead of going for a shot himself. 

A clutch of chances fell to both teams as Bipin Singh for Lajong and Bikramjit and Jeje for Mohun Bagan failed to bury their opportunities. 

The match ended 3-2 in favour of Mohun Bagan which meant that Shillong Lajong were knocked out. 

Lajong next play DSK Shivajians while Mohun Bagan tee up against Bengaluru FC in the closing rounds.