Norde and Yusa strikes help secure semis berth
The Hero Federation Cup Group B action on Wednesday saw DSK Shivajians go up against Bengaluru FC in the first fixture of the day and Mohun Bagan faced Shillong Lajong in the second at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. Bengaluru went into the game against DSK with three points in the bag after a 3-2 win over Shillong in their previous encounter.
DSK, on the other hand, were looking to bounce back following a 4-0 humbling at the hands of Mohun Bagan and they did just that with a 2-0 win over the Blues courtesy of a Juan Quero brace. The Spaniard opened the scoring in the 71st minute from the spot and doubled the advantage five minutes later with a superb freekick into the top corner.
Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan secured qualification for the semis with their second win of the tournament. Shillong found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline again despite taking the lead just three minutes into the game after Pritam Kotal (Atlético de Kolkata) scored an own goal.
The Mariners were behind for just two minutes as Darryl Duffy got on the end of a Souvik Chakraborty (Delhi Dynamos FC) through ball before rounding the keeper and slotting into the net. They took the lead in the 27th minute after Sony Norde (Mumbai City FC) earned them a free-kick in dangerous territory. The Haitian took responsibility of the set-piece and sent the ball sailing into the top right corner to make it 2-1.
Katsumi Yusa (NorthEast United FC) extended their lead two minutes from half-time after an excellently timed run saw him slide in at the far post to put Norde’s cross from the left into goal. The goal put the defending champions in a commanding position even though a late consolation goal by Yuta Kinowaki made for a nervy climax to the match.
The win keeps Mohun Bagan on top of Group B with six points from two matches. Bengaluru FC, however, are now level on three points with DSK, whose win against the southerners puts them back in semis reckoning. DSK face the already eliminated Shillong and Mohun Bagan take on Bengaluru in the last of the group fixtures on May 12.