Kolkata: Mohun Bagan cruised to the final of the ongoing Sikkim Gold Cup after defeating ONGC 5-0 in the first semi-final at the Paljor stadium in Sikkim on Friday. New signing striker Dipanada Dicka and Ansumana Kromah scored a brace each; while another new recruit substitute Naro Hari Shrestha scored his first goal for the club to bring up the win.
The Mariners started the match brightly as Dicka started from where he had left against Tibetan NSA and almost got on the scoresheet within the first 25 minutes, but both his shots went sailing over the bar. Bagan continued attacking but lacked the final ball, the rain didn’t help either.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 24th minute when SK Faiaz laid in a brilliant ball for Dicka to score. The Cameroonian striker could have doubled his lead but shot straight at the keeper’s hand as Bagan went into the halt with a one goal lead.
The second half was however a completely different game as Bagan scored four goals that started with Kromah heading the ball in from a long-throw in the 46th minute. Mumbai based ONGC who so far looked out of touch woke up after the second goal and initiated a flurry of attacks but the Bagan defence led by an experienced Kingshuk Debnath thwarted all attacks.
The 61st minute saw Kromah complete his second goal of the match, but was soon replaced by Japanese Yuta Kinowaki. Dicka then playing as a lone striker took on the goal scoring mantle upon himself. A brilliant piece of skill from Dicka in the 83rd minute saw him net home another goal to make it 4-0. Naro Hari Shrestha, who replaced Dicka scored one more in the 88th minute to seal the match for the Green and Maroons brigade.
Courtesy the big win Bagan reached their first final in the tournament since 2001 and after 15 long years Bagan will be playing their 37th Gold Cup final, having won the Cup a record eight times.
Meanwhile, their opponent on Sunday will be the winner between Patha Chakra and Calcutta customs who face each other in the second semi-final later in the day.