Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan registered their first victory of the 13th Hero I-League season, overwhelming debutants Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) FC of Manipur 4-0 at the Kalyani Municipality Stadium on Wednesday.
The Mariners, who had picked up just one point from their first two outings, rode a Suhair VP goal sandwiched in between two Fran Gonzalez strikes and a 90th minute Subha Ghosh header to bring smiles on the faces of their adoring fans.
The Green and Maroon Brigade got an early goal resulting from a Joseba Beitia corner. Trinidadian centre-back Daniel Cyrus, who had had a horror of a game against Churchill Brothers, made amends by bringing the second ball down from a height onto the path of a lurking Fran Gonzalez to his right.
The Mohawk hair-styled Spaniard made no mistake with a crisp right-footed grounder across Gurpreet Singh in the TRAU goal, for his first telling contribution of the day.
If Mohun Bagan's first goal was sudden, the second was a beautifully crafted team goal, executed to top-class perfection by three Mariners. Fran turned initiator this time, picking up an overlapping right-back Ashutosh Mehta with a wonderfully measured long ball from deep inside the Bagan half.
With a defender on his shoulder, the Mumbaikar held him off and took a gem of a first-touch in one action, looked up, and crossed into the area of uncertainty, in front of the keeper.
An onrushing Suhair VP then met the cross with an outstretched left leg and perfect timing, to slot it past Gurpreet for a top team goal.
If the visitors harboured any hopes of staging a comeback in the second half, it was cruelly extinguished even before a minute had lapsed post the lemon-break.
The TRAU defence was caught on its heels, probably expecting the officials to flag off-side as the ball fell to Fran on top of the TRAU box. He put the ball past Gurpreet unchallenged for Bagan's third.
Young Subha Ghosh, who was brought on as a substitute for the second game running by the Mariner’s Spanish coach Kibu Vicuna, then got his second in as many games and Bagan’s fourth, as he was first to meet fellow sub Sk. Faiaz's cross from the right wing. His flying header at full stretch getting ahead of his marker, had talent and potential written all over it.
Subha's strike came in the first minute of injury time and was probably the perfect icing on long time Bagan keeper Shilton Paul's wedding cake.
TRAU did make a couple of changes, bringing on Krishnananda and Emeka in the second half to bolster his forward line. However, other than a couple of golden chances which fell to Denechandram Meetie on the hour mark and Brazilian Marcel Sacramento in the 79th minute, there was not much about the TRAU performance to write home about.
Mohun Bagan now have four points from three games, while TRAU are yet to open their account after two away games.