Kochi: Odafa Okolie and Chizoba Christopher scored twice as Mohun Bagan humiliated Shillong Lajong 6-0 and took a giant step towards the semifinals of 35th Federation Cup football championship at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here on Saturday.
It was vintage Bagan on a prowl as Shillong that routed Salgaocar 4-0 in its first match was convincingly outplayed, in the Group-C encounter.
Apart from the Nigerians, Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa bagged a goal and an assist and substitute Ujjal Howaldar struck late in the added time for the Kolkata giants.
The mariners were buoyed by the inclusion of their talisman Odafa, who was out injured, as central striker and Kerala boy Denson Devdas in the holding role, having dearly missed the two in a narrow 1-0 win over Mumbai FC, three days ago.
Odafa was not in the best of form and did not look sharp in possession. Yet he managed to give a decent account of his class — a delicate touch for the first goal in the 11th minute and an overhead kick in the 77th minute- to mark his return.
His countryman and striking partner Chizoba missed a host of opportunities, even as he scored a beautiful right-foot drive in the first half and a cool finish just after the hour mark.
Yusa has been the best Bagan player in the Cup. He was outstanding yet again with timely interceptions and range of passing.
Also notable was the contribution of M.P. Sakeer, who operated in an attacking role that reminded of his stint as a playmaker in the erstwhile Viva Kerala, four seasons ago.
Later in the evening, Salgaocar defeated Mumbai FC 2-1 in a thriller that saw two red cards per side, keeping the Goans alive in the championship.
Salgaocar and Shillong have three points each and if the Goan team manage to defeat Mohun Bagan in the last group match on Tuesday, they can still qualify to the knockout round.
Mumbai that missed a chance to equalise, when their captain Yusif Yakubu hit the crossbar, from the penalty spot, have crashed out with consecutive defeats.
Australian Matthew Foschini had put Salgaocar ahead from a direct free-kick in the 11th minute and former international N P Pradeep equalised with an audacious effort.
The Federation Cup takes a day’s break on Sunday and will resume with action in Group-A on Monday.