Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan on Saturday defeated Churchill Brothers FC Goa 3-0 at the Fatorda Stadium here to inch three points closer to their second Hero I-League title.
Former La-Liga and Senegalese striker Papa Babacar Diawara opened the scoring as early as the sixth minute, while VP Suhair (51st) and Tajik Komron Tursunov (58th) found the net twice in the second half to register the convincing victory.
The league leaders were off the blocks early with Diawara scoring his seventh in as many games.
Joseba Beitia played a free-kick out wide for Fran Gonzalez, who headed square for Diawara and the Senegalese tapped it home with the Churchill defence on his heals.
Churchill fought back creditably after the setback and there was a period of play when they missed three clear-cut chances in a space of five minutes with the Dawda Cessay-Willis Plaza combination working wonders.
Bagan’s new defensive formation — Trinidadian Daniel Cyrus and Gurjinder — did well to absorb a determined Churchill push. Young SK Sahil, in particular, was impressive in snatching the ball from the opposition.
The Green and Maroons were looking good going forward and they did create a couple of golden chances, but the first half failed to produce any more goals.
Soon after the restart, Suhair, another of Bagan’s standout performers this season, doubled the lead as he cut inside from the left and opened-up a side-footer that beat Churchill goalkeeper at the near post.
Seven minutes after Suhair’s strike, left-back Gurjinder found himself near Churchill’s right corner flag and floated in a cross that took a slight touch off a defender and looped towards the centre of the goal.
Second-half substitute Tursunov, followed the ball perfectly, rushing in from near the top of the box to leap in front of a shocked Jovel Martins and with an aerial kick stabbed it into the back of the net.
Bagan too a comfortable 3-0 with more than half an hour play remaining in the game.
It was showtime after that and there was a span of play of about seven-eight minutes when Bagan missed at least four sitters with Diawara inexplicably missing two of them. Bagan had a total of 18 shots out of which nine were on target.
The Kolkata outfit now has 32 points from 13 games, 11 clear of second-placed Punjab FC, while Churchill remain in third spot with 19 points from 12 games.
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