Mohun Bagan Super Gaint started its AFC Cup south zone group-D league campaign in style by blanking host Odisha FC 4-0 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.
Australian striker Dimitri Petratos scored a brace, while Sahal Abdul Samad and Liston Colaco scored one each to complete the tally. Mohun Bagan made it a brilliant second session after the first half ended barren.
The opening half saw Mohun Bagan consistently maintain a ball possession rate of almost 60 per cent but failed to convert that to a lead as its finishing remained an area of concern.
Petratos, Armando Sadiku, Hugo Boumous, Sahal Abdul Samad had all their names in the list of misses as Mohun Bagan SG opened up the Odisha defence on numerous occasions. The Mohun Bagan attackers seemed to muddle everything up the opponent box as the Odisha defence stood strong.
The relentless pressure on Odisha FC defence finally resulted in the ejection of its Senegalese centre-back Mourtada Fall, who received his second booking of the match following a tackle-from-behind on Boumous in the 43rd minute to see the host reduced to 10 men.
The first chance for MBSG came in the 24th minute when Samad got the ball at the edge of the box and put Boumous to essay the final pass. The French play-maker released Petratos inside the box but the Australian striker seemed to be outnumbered by the Odisha defenders.
Mohun Bagan continued to press for more and found another good opening in the 28th minute when Petratros found Sadiku in the open on top of the Odisha box.
But the Albanian forward messed up his attempt and shot it over. Boumous almost took the lead for Mohun Bagan in the 35th minute but ended up hitting the side netting as he made a futile attempt to find the near corner of the goal. Dimitri had another chance to take the lead in the 44th minute, but his curling free-kick brushed past the post.
Things drastically changed for Mohun Bagan after the break, as Samad found the lead almost immediately after the resumption. The crafty midfielder latched on to a Manvir Singh pass to find the back of the Odisha net to get Mohun Bagan off the blocks.
Odisha continued to flounder with its defence in the absence of Fall as a charged-up Mohun Bagan continued to hunt for more. Petratos doubled the lead in the 68th minute making the most of a rebound that came his way after Samad’s attempt was blocked by Odisha goalkeeper Amrinder Singh.
Colaco, who came in as a substitute in the 73rd minute, nodded home a cross from Manvir to treble the lead in the 79th minute. Petratos completed the scoring process in the 83rd minute, making the most of a defensive error when Odisha defender Thoiba Moirangthem failed to clear the ball to provide the former with a clear chance.
The result: Odisha FC 0 lost to Mohun Bagan SG 4 (Sahal Abdul Samad 46, Dimitri Petratos 68, 83, Liston Colaco 79)