Mohun Bagan cruise past ONGC to reach the finals of the 37th Sikkim Governors Gold Cup
The Paljor Stadium in Gangtok, Sikkim was witnessing one of those dark and gloomy afternoons when the rain gods get into the mood of pouring down heavily and yesterday was no different, barring the fact that it was going to host one of the most crucial matches of the tournament.
The Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan locked horns with the Mumbai based club ONGC in the 1st semi-final of the 37th Sikkim Governors Gold Cup which eventually turned out to be a cakewalk for the green and maroon brigade as they handed over a 5-0 major thrashing to their counterpart. Big cheers to the Sikkim government though for being able to create the type of buzz this competition demanded to redeem its long lost gory as the two sides fought it out in front of a crowd of commendable size.
As the proceedings went underway, Bagan started enjoying most of the possession and created numerous chances before eventually capitalizing on one as midfielder Reynier Fernandes provided a near perfect assist for his fellow compatriot Dipanda Dicka ,who eased past the onrushing goalkeeper and grabbed his first for his new outfit. It was barely 23 minutes into the game but ONGC could clearly see the writing on the wall as the Mariners kept on piling up the agony once the second half started.
Dicka sneaked in his second for the day and his partner upfront the Liberian striker Ansumana Kromah also chipped in with a brace (pushing his goal tally to 3 for the tournament), these two partners in crime made a feast out of the ONGC defence with brilliant interchange of play. Narohari Shresta completed the humiliation after being subbed on for Dicka and grabbed his first hence making a statement to the coach and team management for his inclusion in the starting line-up.
At the end of the match Mohun Bagan coach Sankarlal Chakraborty was reportedly quoted saying “The midfield is slowly starting to hit the rhythm and that’s very heartening to see. Most of the players are new and its not even two weeks since we have started training together. The understanding will develop as time passes by. Here the conditions today were pretty tough, the rain in the latter stages multiplied our problems and the artificial turf did not help much either. But its quite assuring that we are creating enough as you can see even this match we also missed some sitters and Kromah’s hattrick was denied by the woodwork”.
After storming into the title decider to be hosted at the same venue on Sunday afternoon Mohun Bagan will face the winners of the second semi-final between Pathachakra and Customs, where they will have their task cut out. But considering their legacy and dismissive form so far in the competition they should ideally edge out whoever they might have to face.