Sony Norde (Mumbai City FC) and Jeje Lalpekhlua (Chennaiyin FC) starred in the final of the Hero Federation Cup at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday as Mohun Bagan ran out 5-0 winners against Aizawl FC to clinch their 14th Federation Cup, which is the most by any team. Once again it was their talismanic duo of Lalpekhlua and Norde that proved to be the difference as they headed into the half-time interval after a scoreless first period.
The Mariners emerged in the second half clearly on the front foot and finally broke Aizawl’s stubborn resistance three minutes into the second half after Lalpekhlua directed a cross towards an on-rushing Norde, who slotted home from 12 yards out to hand the Kolkata giants the lead. Their second goal of the night came directly from a corner with skipper Yusa Katsumi finding Dhanachandra Singh (Chennaiyin FC) unmarked in the penalty area. The Super Machans full-back made no mistake as he headed home with authority to double Mohun Bagan’s advantage.
Lalpekhlua soon put the game beyond Aizawl after rounding off a superb team move to make it 3-0 for Mohun Bagan. Things would get worse for Aizawl as Norde continued to wreak havoc on the right side of the north-east side’s defence. His mesmerising run eight minutes from normal time saw the Haitian winger completely bamboozle the Aizawl right-back and find Bikramjit Singh for his side’s fourth goal of the night. Lalpekhlua added the icing on the cake by making it 5-0 just before full-time and in the process broke Baichung Bhutia and Jose Baretto’s record of most goals in a single season of the Federation Cup (8).
Elsewhere, another Hero ISL star also got a taste of silverware as Kerala Blasters FC’s joint top-scorer from last season, Chris Dagnall helped Scottish side Hibernian FC win the Scottish Cup final in a 3-2 thriller against Rangers FC.
– ISL Media