Shillong: AFC Cup semi-finalists East Bengal started their I-League campaign in style with a 4-0 thrashing of Shillong Lajong at the Nehru Stadium here Wednesday.
East Bengal, who are hoping to create history by qualifying for the AFC Cup final, wove their first chance when James Moga forced a save by Vinay Singh in the ninth minute.
Thereafter, the visitors piled on the pressure and were finally rewarded in the 20th minute when Moga nodded in past Vinay to open East Bengal’s account. Lajong responded almost instantly with a Subhash Singh scorcher, which flew over the crossbar.
It was East Bengal though who once again found the net through Chidi Edeh who latched on to a perfect pass from the wing to double the lead for his team. East Bengal coach Marcus Falopa then replaced the injured Vashum with Malsawtluanga in the 43rd minute.
That brought the first half to a close, with East Bengal clearly looking the more dangerous on the break. Crossing over, the Reds tried to pull back into the game, but in form Moga put the game beyond doubt when Calvin Lobo curled a beautiful ball past Vinay Singh into the far post to silenced the home crowd.
Man of the match Moga then completed the formalities with another sublime finish past the Lajong custodian to make it four for the day, in the 61st minute, to resign the Reds to their first loss to East Bengal at Shillong.
It is not pleasant at all that I had to approach the court but there was no option left for me. I am glad that I have been proved right and it has lifted my morale ahead for the Asian Games.
Manoj Kumar, Indian boxer