Bagan, Prayag United make confident starts in IFA Shield
Kalyani/Siliguri: Former champions Mohun Bagan and strong contenders Prayag United began their campaigns at the 117th IFA Shield on a confident note with emphatic 3-0 and 5-0 wins against their rivals Pune FC and Pailan Arrows in quarter-final group league matches.
While at Kalyani Stadium Bagan outplayed Pune FC 3-0, Prayag United drubbed Pailan Arrows pumping in five goals at the Siliguri Kangchenjunga Stadium.
Bagan`s in-form striker SC Sabeeth opened the score sheet within four minutes and captain Odafa Okolie made it 2-0 in the first session. After the breather Sabeeth, the Man of the Match, doubled his score and Bagan`s third from Jacob cross jn the 52nd minute.
Pune FC at the beginning made a cuple of attempts which were easily thwarted by Bagan goal keeper Shilton Paul.
Bagan coach Karim Bencharifa today used CS Sabeeth as a striker with Odafa Okolie instead of regular partner Australian Tolgay Ozbay which paid rich dividends.
In Siliguri last year`s runners up Prayag United practically toyed with Pailan Arrows as the former fired two goals in first half and three in the last session to sound warning bells onto rivals` Kingfisher East Bengal in the Group A.
While Costa Rican World Cupper Carlos Harnandez booted home from nearly half-ground, Ranty Martins scored in the 28th and the 65th minute goal came from penalty before Sankar Oraon netted in the 55th minute and substitute Kyene Vincent completed the tally for Pailans 16 minutes from end.
In this group ONGC have been clubbed in the last minute after Muktiyodhya from Bangladesh failed to turn up due to turmoil in their country.