Kalyani (West Bengal): Midfielder Fran Gonzalez scored a hat-trick to help leaders Mohun Bagan trounce Neroca FC 6-2 in an I-League clash here on Friday.
Gonzalez scored in the 10th, 24th, 45th minutes. Bagan’s other goals were netted by Fran Morante (13th), Baba Diawar (37th) and Romario Jesuraj (70th).
For Neroca, Phillip Adjah (41st) and Subhash Singh (45+2) scored for the visitors.
With their fourth straight win, Bagan extended their lead atop the standings with 11 points. Bagan have 29 points from 12 matches, 11 more then Punjab.
Neroca remained 10th with 12 points from 13 matches.
Both sides missed a penalty on either half at the Kalyani Stadium. Bagan left back Dhanachandra Singh was red carded in the 60th minute for a handball on goalline.
Mohun Bagan led 5-2 at halftime.
With the hat-trick, Gonzalez emerged as the highest scorer in the league with none goals ahead of Punjab’s Dipanda Dicka.
The first half of the game saw a total of seven goals scored (5-2) – the most in any game in I-League’s history.
The previous best was six – East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan in 2009 (3-3) and Prayag United vs United Sikkim in 2012 (5-1).