Mohun Bagan’s chances of making the Asian Champions League main round went up in smoke after the national football league champions were drubbed 0-6 by top Chinese side Shandong Luneng FC in the second round qualification match today.
The defeat in the adverse sub-zero temperature came after Mohun Bagan became the first ever team to win a qualifying round match when they beat Singaporean side Tampines Rovers 3 -1.
It was a one-sided affair at the Lunen Big Stadium where the temperature was -3 degrees Celsius as Walter Montillo (23rd), Diego Tardelli (40th min), Yang Xu (55th, 68th mins), Zheng Zheng (76th min) and Wang Yongpo (88th min) completed the rout.
The green and maroon brigade coach Sanjoy Sen employed an ultra-defensive strategy with Prabir Das and Katsumi Yusa used as defensive screen in front of the back-four comprising Luciano Sabrosa, Raju Gaekwad, Dhanachandra Singh and Kingshuk Debnath.
They did well for the first 22 minutes in frozen conditions before starting to wilt under the relentless pressure created by Shandong attacking third.
In the 23rd minute, former Argentina international Walter Montillo was freed by Wang Xu as he converted the chance beating Bagan custodian Debjit Majumdar.
Having doggedly defended for another 16 minutes, the second goal was conceded in the 40th minute when Brazilian striker Diego Tardelli, who was one of the standbyes in the Brazilian national squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, scored the second goal.
Down 0-2 in the first half, the floodgates opened in the second when the resistance completely broke with the Chinese club, which finished third in their Super League, repeatedly beating right wing back Souvik Chakrabarty repeatedly.
The inexperienced Prabir Das in the middle did not have enough quality to resist the wave of attacks.
The last three goals were a case of abject surrender with the last line remaining static.