Mohun Bagan's Title Hopes Over, Lose to Lajong 1-4

Mohun Bagan's Title Hopes Over, Lose to Lajong 1-4
Last year's runners-up Mohun Bagan's title hopes today went up in smoke after succumbing to a humiliating 1-4 defeat at the hands of debutant Shillong Lajong FC in a round 18 match of the I-League here.

Having being stunned by last-placed Sporting Clube de Goa in their last round fixture, Mohun Bagan were dealt another big blow at Yuba Bharati Krirangan today when the club from North-East scored two goals in each half to at confortably beat the local favourites.

Lajong drew first blood through Seikhohao Tuboi in the ninth minute and then Kelechi Okoya doubled the scoreline in the 20th minute. Bagan, however, reduced the margin through Surkumar Singh in the 37th minute.

But injury time goals from Niwan-O-Gatphoh (90+2') and Anil Gurung (90+3') sealed Bagan's fate.

With this win , Lajong climbed up from the relegation zone to be on third last spot with 20 points.

The drop of points for Mohun Bagan (25) meant their title aspirations are over as they are 10 points below leaders Dempo (30), who scored a 2-1 win over JCT in another round 18 match today.

Irate Bagan fans hurled abuses against the club officials, especially the management's decision to replace experienced Moroccan coach Karim Bencherifa with rookie Satyajit Chatterjee.

Under Chatterjee the club suffered two back-to-back defeats against little known teams.

Missed chances from their dependable players Jose Ramirez Barreto, Edeh Chidi and Snehashish Chakraborty were the order of the day for Bagan as Stanley Rozario's boys from Shillong took the early lead through Tuboi.

James Gbilee combined well with Tuboi whose Tuboi's left-footer was beyond Bagan skipper Sangram Mukherjee's reach as Lajong took the lead in the ninth minute.

With Chidi muffing a chance at the other end, Okoye's left-footed freekick went in after getting a deflection as Lajong took a commanding 2-0 lead midway into the match.

Bagan pulled one back when Surkumar scored with a long ranger from a corner.

Down 1-2, Bagan gave their heart and soul after the changeover but Lajong maintained the lead as floodgates opened in the dying minutes of the game with the visitors pumping in two more goals to complete the humiliation.

Two minutes into the injury time, Gatphoh evaded Deepak Mondal and Sheikh Azim and custodian Sangram Mukherjee to make it 3-1.

And a minute later, Gurung's left-footed flick deceived an advancing Sangram as Lajong scored an emphatic victory.
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