Kolkata: Shillong Lajong FC came back from behind riding on a Cornell Glen hat-trick to edge out 10-man Mohammedan Sporting 5-4 in a high-scoring I-League thriller at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here today.
Relegation-wary Mohammedan Sporting took a fifth minute lead through Ashim Biswas but all hell broke loose after goalkeeper Luis Barreto tripped Boithang Haokip inside the box to be sent off in the 12th minute.
The Shillong outfit exploited the numerical advantage beautifully with Trinidad and Tobago recruit Glen (16th, 43rd and 74th) firing in a treble, while Subash Singh completing the Mohammedan misery with a double (29th and 69th).
The local challengers put up a valiant fight led by Joshimar d'Silva Martins' brace (47th and 79th) and a solitary effort by Penn Orji (34th) but it was not enough.
Mohammedan Sporting also missed a penalty when Luciano Sabrosa's effort was saved by Lajong custodian Lalthuammawia Ralte in the 61st minute, as they failed to revive their I-League fortunes and look set to be relegated.
Mohammedan Sporting (21 from 23 matches) remained one place ahead of laggards Churchill Brothers (19 from 21) but having played two extra matches, the city outfit's future look
bleak in the top tier as they conclude their campaign against Mumbai FC in an away fixture.
Lajong, on the other hand, climbed to fifth place with 32 points from 22 matches.
Biswas sneaked in at the far post and headed in a peach of a cross from Basanta Singh to give the local outfit an early lead.
There was disaster in store after Barreto was sent off as Glenn equalised from the resulting penalty before Singh put the visitors in front when he found the target from the left
giving goalkeeper Ashok Singh no chance.
Josimar made it 3-3 early in the second period but Soborsa wasted a penalty for Mohammedan Sporting.
That proved to be a crucial miss as goals from Subhash and Glen gave the away side a two-goal advantage.
Josimar completed his brace to bring Mohammedan Sporting back into the game but Lajong held on for a memorable victory.