Mohun Bagan thrash Salgaocar 6-1 to enter semis

Cuttack: Riding a hat trick each by Jose Baretto and Sabir Muritala Ali, 13 times champions Mohun Bagan trounced Salgaocar SC 6-1 in a Group D match of the 32nd Federation Cup football championship at the Barabati Stadium here on Sunday to barge into the semi-finals.

Bagan would now lock horns with Dempo SC in the second semi-finals on September 30 after the first semi-final between defending champions East Bengal and Churchil Brothers on September 29 before the final on October 2 at the same venue.

The match was expected to be a close finish as both the teams entered the ground on Sunday on equal footing with four points each to their credit.

Brazilian striker Baretto opened the flood gate very early at the 12th minute to romp home the first goal as a packed stadium erupted into jubiliation. He did not relent and went on to repeat his feat at 24th and 26th minutes almost taking the match away from their opposition.

The Bagan onslaught was given further punch by talismanic Nigerian striker Ali who added a brace to go to the break with 5-0 lead. Ali`s hit first crashed into the roof of the nets at 25th minutes and then hit a gem of shot at 42nd minute before finishing off at the 89th minute.

Three times champions Salgaocar SC looked helpless infront of a roaring Bagan brigade who dominated opposition arena and scored at will in view of inept defence.

However, Ryugi Sueka of Salgaocar managed to penetrate the Bagan defence at 83rd minute to score the only consolation goal for the team.

Even as the match was heading toward the final hooter, Ali perfectly controlled a ball from winger to score his hattrick and take the team`s tally to 6-1.

Mohun Bagan had got seven points from three outings with two wins and a draw while Salgaor SC got four points from as many matches with one win, one draw and a defeat.

Mohun Bagan had scored altogether seven goals in their favour with only one against them while Salgaocar SC had conceded eight goals against including today`s six and four in its favour.