Kolkata, Apr 1 (PTI) Katsumi Yusa struck a double while Darry Duffy scored once as Mohun Bagan hammered reigning champions Bengaluru FC 3-0 to revive their I-League title hopes here today.
Captain Yusa was in his element as he slammed on both sides of the break, while Duffy struck in the 25th minute to hand the team its first win in four matches.
The 2014-15 champions are now four points shy of leaders Aizawl FC with a match in hand.
A day after he returned from Haiti following a long flight, Sony Norde assisted in all the three goals as the visitors, without India captain Sunil Chhetri, proved to be no match in their third game on the trot.
Mohun Bagan played out a goal-less draw in their away round against Bengaluru FC, and the two sides then met on March 14 in an AFC Cup group match, which the Mariners lost 1-2.
But the green and maroon looked a transformed side with Man of the Match Yusa stealing the show to secure their first win since February 18 when they defeated Shivajians 3-1.
There title aspiration in the I-League all but over, the defending champions started without their star forward Chhetri and midfielder Eugenson Lyngdoh and they had four players from U-22 squad.
Early on, Bengaluru FC had a few passes played on the left flank with CK Vineeth cutting through but Mohun Bagan defence put up a solid effort with Pritam Kotal thwarting his India teammate.
Mohun Bagan had their first opportunity in the sixth minute with Kotal setting up Duffy but the Scot’s mistimed header did not help their cause.
However, they did not have to wait long as Yusa utilised the room on the edge of the box after being set up by Norde and the captain’s grounded shot from right put Mohun Bagan ahead in the 14th minute.
A diving Amrinder Singh got some hands on to the ball but Yusa’s shot had the power to beat the Bengaluru custodian.
Duffy headed home a free-kick from Norde to double the Mariners’ lead inside half an hour, notching up his seventh goal of the ongoing I-League.
After the changeover, Yusa brilliantly placed the ball deceiving Nishu Kumar to complete their tally with a goal that was again set up by Norde, who won the ball and ran about 50 yards.
Mohuna Bagan now have 26 points from 13 games while Bengaluru FC have 18 from 14 matches.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.