Pune: India international Sunil Chhetri struck twice as Mohun Bagan made a strong statement with a thumping 5-1 win over Mumbai FC in their fourth round I-League encounter at the Balewadi Sports Complex on Sunday.
Apart from Sunil who scored the second and fifth goal in the 30th and 86th minute respectively, it was Sunil`s India teammate Syed Rahim Nabi who opened the account in the 22nd minute. Ashim Biswas (59th minute) and Jewel Raja (75th minute) were the other scorers. For the losers, Ebi Sukore pulled one back in the third minute of stoppage time.
Bagan now are in third place with nine points from four matches that includes three wins.
On the day, Chhetri missed so many chances, but towards the middle of the match he found his touch, assisted by Brazilian Hudson Lima`s relentless feeding, the India striker scored twice which would certainly do his confidence a world of good.
It was skipper Nabi who broke the deadlock as Bagan went on the offensive after being battered by Dempo in the last match.
It was Hudson who sent a cross in the box and Nabi headed home to draw the first blood. Hudson was at it yet again when he found Chhetri unmarked, but the striker muffed the chance as he failed to control the ball in the 25th minute.
Soon after, another gaffe engulfed Chhetri who failed to get into position soon enough. That allowed Mumbai FC players Gbeneme Friday and Abhishek Yadav to block his view forcing Chhetri to shoot wide in desperation.
But Chhetri recovered in time, first sending a free-kick into the top of the crosspiece and then heading a perfect corner from Hudson in the 86th minute to make it 5-0.
Before that, skipper Nabi set up a fine move from the right flank before he spotted an unmarked Chhetri in the box.
Instead of setting himself up, Chhetri tapped the ball behind for an onrushing Jewel Raja, who effected a blinder of a grounder leaving Mumbai FC custodian Nidhin Lal beaten all ends up.