Scintillating Shillong Lajong rip apart sorry Mumbai FC

Shillong Lajong produced a performance from the top drawer to dispatch a clueless Mumbai FC 6-0 in their own backyard to end Mumbai FC’s unbeaten run at Cooperage in the Hero I-League on 3rd April 2015.

Khalid Jamil made few changes to his side as veteran midfielder Climax Lawrence came in for an injured Taisuke Matsugae as Cletus Paul, Nicholas Rodrigues started ahead of Paresh Shivalkar and Pradeep Mohanraj. Mumbai FC welcomed back Sampath Kutty Mani who was back after being suspended for the last game.

The visitors who had a fully fit squad started the better of the two teams and created the first opening of the game when Boithang Haokip created space for to shoot after some swift counter attack and combining well with Cornell Glenn but his shot was wide of the target.

Shillong Lajong were set up to defend well and hit the hosts on the break with their pace and they very nearly succeeded in doing so when a threaded pass nearly made his way to Cornell Glenn but for an alert Chika Wali to intervened to clear the danger in the 17th minute.

But he couldn’t deny Cornell Glenn four minutes later when he fired home Shillong’s opener after Seiminlen Doungel did brilliantly on the right wing to get to the loose ball after Nidhin Lal parried a Zodingliana Ralte shot which threatened to sneak in.

The goal lifted the Shillong Lajong spirits and they stunned Cooperage when they doubled their lead in the 24th minute through Penn Orji who got plenty of time to place his effort which eventually went past the helpless Nidhin Lal after a deflection on its way.

Mumbai FC who were shell shocked by the twin Shillong strikes attempted to reduce the deficit when Nicholas Rodrigues fired agonizingly over the crossbar in the 32nd minute before firing horribly wide after receiving a cut back from Josimar a minute later.

Shillong Lajong had the game firmly in control as they were able to break down Mumbai FC’s attacks and pose a constant threat on the break. Sampath Kutty Mani missed a great chance to half the deficit when he fired over from a corner in the 39th minute.

Head Coach Khalid Jamil replaced Climax Lawrence who was virtually invisible throughout the game with Milagres Gonsalves in the 40th minute.

But Shillong Lajong went into the break with a 2-0 lead having completely outplayed Mumbai in the first half.

Mumbai FC’s hopes of making a comeback were dashed just two minutes into the second half when another crisp move from the visitors opened the Mumbai FC defence and saw Nidhin Lal make a good save but Zodingliana Ralte was there to put away the rebound and make it 3-0 to the Shillong outfit.

Shillong Lajong added a fourth four minutes later when they completely carved open the Mumbai FC defence as Cornell Glenn played a nice one-two with his team-mate before coolly slotting past Nidhin Lal to score his second and his side’s fourth of the evening.

Cletus Paul was unlucky not to open Mumbai FC’s account in the 52nd minute, when he struck the upright with a fierce strike. Mumbai FC brought on Rohit Mirza in place of Nicholas Rodrigues in the 55th minute, who missed a great chance to get his side back into the game in the first half.

Mumbai FC had failed to take advantage of their height and strength on set pieces all evening and they nearly conceded from when a horribly worked set play led to Shillong Lajong making a breathtaking counter attack in the 59th minute which Zodingliana Ralte failed to finish.

As the clock ticked Mumbai FC players completely gave up and waited for the full time whistle as Shillong Lajong continued to run rings around their defence. Nidhin Lal needed to be at his best to deny Penn Orji his second goal in the 82nd minute.

But Penn Orji turned provider in the first minute of stoppage time when an intricate piece of play between him and substitute Uilliams Souza Silva allowed the latter to fire in a fifth to make it a memorable outing for Shillong Lajong.

But things were to get even better for the visitors when another substitute Ongnam Milan Singh rounded off a delightful evening with a stunning long range strike to make the scoreline 6-0 in Shillong Lajong’s favour.

The win was only the third for the Shillong outfit as they rose to 8th in the table just two points behind Mumbai FC who now need to gather themselves very quickly for a daunting trip to face Champions Bengaluru FC at the Kanteerava Stadium on Tuesday.

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