Mohun Bagan registered an emphatic 3-0 victory away from home against Neroca FC at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal on Thursday in an I-League match.
Nongdamba Naorem broke the deadlock in the 27th minute before creating the second goal for Papa Diawara in the 53rd minute.
Substitute Komron Tursunov added the third, deep into stoppage time, to seal the deal for the Mariners.
Neroca had their first crack at goal, against the run of play in the 16th minute, when a Marvin Phillip goal-kick found Boubacar Diarra, who chested it down well and after seeing Bagan keeper Sankar Roy off his line, went for glory from the half-way line. His effort gently nestled the top of the net, leaving Sankar a relieved man.
With Mohun Bagan clearly running a one-way traffic at this point, Neroca had started putting more men in the box, making it more challenging for Vicuna’s men to penetrate the final third.
Nongdamba Naorem, with two orange shirts closing him down, released the ball to Joseba Beitia.
With the ball at his feet, the Spaniard now had all the attention, which gave Naorem the time he needed to make the run inside the box. Beitia flicked it towards Dhanachadra Singh who had read Naorem’s run, and squared it back to him.
With three defenders closing him down, and Marvin Phillip making himself big and committing to the cause, Naorem outsmarted everyone and gently toe-poked it past the near post instead, finishing off the move he had started to give his side a well-deserved lead in the 27th minute.
In the 42nd minute, Moiranghthem Meitei handled the ball just outside the edge of his box and conceded a free-kick in the process. It was Diawara who stepped up, and his thunderbolt of an attempt flashed across goal but Marvin Phillip got a strong right hand and parried it away from immediate danger.
The league leaders went in at half-time, being firmly in the driving seat and didn’t miss a beat even after the break.