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Mariners Rout South China in AFC Cup Encounter

Green & Maroons picked up a comfortable win as they defeated South China AA 4-0 in an away game in AFC Cup fixture played at Mong Kok Stadium, Hong Kong. Lenny Rodrigues, Sony Norde, Cornell Glenn & Jeje Lalpekhlua scored for the Kolkata club to take them at the top of Group G in AFC Cup with two wins in two games.

Mohun Bagan coach, Sanjoy Sen made three changes to the team that drew against Sporting Clube de Goa. Pronay Halder, Prabir Das and Pritam Kotal made it to the playing XI as Dhanachandra Singh, Raju Gaikwad and injured Brandon Fernandes were left out.

Mariners started off a positive note and created the first chance within the first minute when Cornel Glenn's curl out foxed three opposition defender but went wide off the far post.

The hosts were not to be left behind as they had their first shot at goal three minutes later when a weak shot off Lam went wide off target without troubling Debjit Majumder.

Mohun Bagan opened their account in the 15th minute a free kick by Katsumi Yusa was parried off by the opposition goal keeper only to find an unmarked Lenny Rodrigues who headed the ball to give his side the lead.

South China AA were reduced to 10-men in the 16th minute when, Che Runqui was given marching orders by the referee after collecting two Yellow cards, when he fouled Pronay Halder within two minutes of the initial booking.

The Hong Kong based came close to equalize in the 21st minute when a cross from Chan P. found Mahama Awal whose header could only hit the wood work. Three minutes later, Kin Fung took a set-piece with Chan P heading it but Debjit blocked to avoid any damage.

Sony Norde doubled the score for his team in the 39th minute when he intercepted Chi Yung's ball and broke into a sprint on the left flank cutting off his marker and slotted the ball into the far corner.

Glenn made it 3-0 just before half time. The Trinidadian forward broke loose the opposition defence after a one-two with Sony Norde and slotted the ball into the nets.

Five minute into the 2nd half and the host again had a chance to open their account when, Ryan Griffith sent in a volleyed effort only for being collected by Debjit Majumder in front of the goal.

South China's coach, Casemiro Mior, who was having a nightmarish outing today,  was seen to lose his control when referee awarded back to back free-kicks to the visitors.

Sony Norde missed an easy oppurtunity at the hour mark. Glenn passed to Jeje with opposition goal keeper outside the box who played it to Sony who has nothing but an open net to score but lobbed the ball over the bar.

It was Jeje Lalpekhlua who scored the 4th goal of the match when he headed the ball off a Katsumi Yusa free kick into the nets and increasing the misery of the Hong Kong Club.

The match ended with a scoreline not many had imagined. Mohun Bagan are now at the top of Group G with two wins in two games. Their next fixture in AFC Cup will be a home game against Yangon United on 16th March. South China, who are yet to win a game in AFC Cup this year, on the other hand will travel to Maldives to play their next match against Maziya S&RC on 16th March.