Vasco, May 2: Jeje Lalpekhlua scored a goal in each half to guide Mohun Bagan to a 3-2 win over Salgaocar FC in the Hero Federation Cup first leg football match at Tilak Stadium today. Jeje scored in the very first and 85th minute, while substitute Abhishek Das added one in the 77th. Martin Scott (26th) and Calvin Mbarga (31st) found the net for Salgaocar. Mohun Bagan, who have placed themselves in an advantageous position by winning the away match, play their return game at home on May 8.(Also Read: Bengaluru FC crowned I-League champions)
After an unimpressive run in the I-League, which saw three coaches being replaced, the hosts received an early jolt when Jeje tapped the ball into the net off a cross from the right by Subhash Singh. But Salgaocar FC took the setback in their stride and built moves and after coming close to finding the net in the 16th minute when defender Kingshuk Debnath made a goal line save. Saran Singh, from the left, then sent a cross from the flank to Scott who made space for himself before unleashing a 24-yard shot that found the back of the net.
The goal spurrd the home team to keep the presssure on the visitors and Darryl Duffy, who was the livewire upfront, sent a cross from the left for Mbarga, who rose high above the rival defense to nod the ball in and put the home team 2-1 ahead in the first half. Mbarga had a chance to increase the lead soon after the interval but goalkeeper Debjit Majumder made a diving save. Mohun Bagan, unable to find the equaliser, saw coach Sanjoy Sen make two quick changes, bringing in Prabir Das and Abhisek Das in place of Kean Lewis and Subhash Singh.
The move paid off as Abhisek Das found the net with a gentle tap off a cross from Yusa Katsumi to draw level. Bagan pressurised the hosts with a flurry of forays and scored the winner in the 85th minute through, Jeje who chested the ball off a Sobraso pass and then got the better of defender Augustin and goalkeeper Karanjit Singh.