KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club went down 2-0 against Mohun Bagan in the 2019 Durand Cup opener on Friday at Vivekananda Yubabharati Krirangan in Kolkata.
Mohun Bagan dominated the game from gun to tape and should have won by a bigger margin, but will leave satisfied with three precious points.
Spanish striker Salva Chamorro (2′ and 23′) scored twice in the first-half to hand Mohun Bagan crucial three points.
Mohun Bagan were the better side in the opening exchanges and they managed to grab an early goal through Chamorro, who beat Mohammedan custodian Subham Roy with a glancing header from Joseba Beitia’s free-kick two minutes into the game.
From that goal onwards, Mohun Bagan dominated the proceedings, but poor decision-making let them down in the final third.
Mohammedan, on the other hand, were forced to make a change in the 13th minute when Hira Mondal was stretchered off and his place taken by Asif Ali Molla on the right side of defense.
The Mariners were all over Mohammedan and asking more and more questions, and despite his best efforts Subham could not hold Mohun Bagan off forever and as the clock headed into the 23rd minute mark Ashutosh Mehta sent a curling cross from the right that found Chamorro’s header that eluded Subham to double The Mariners lead.
Mohun Bagan continued their dominance and should have been three up after 35 minutes when Ashutosh swung in a cross from the right and Chamorro climbed above Mohammedan defenders to meet the ball but couldn’t direct the header on goal.
Mohammedan who looked well out of their depth throughout the first-half had their only crack on the goal in the 45th minute when Musa Mudde won a ball in the midfield and found Arthur Kouassi, who beat the offside trap and put in a diving header on goal, but Shilton Paul produced in a string punch to the left to keep the ball from going in.
That proved to be the the last meaningful passage of play as the referee blew for the half-time whistle with Mohun Bagan leading 2-0.
Seeing his midfield being walked over by The Mariners, Mohammedan coach Subrata Bhattacharya made a change, Amir Hossain coming off for Mohammad Amirul three minutes to the break.
Mohun Bagan maintained a total control in the second-half but they took their foot of the pedal as Mohammedan tried to impose themselves on the game but there was no cohesion or belief, even simple passes and crosses were near impossible tasks for The Black Panthers.
Although Amirul an Sovan Sen offered Mohammedan some hope with their darting runs in Mohun Bagan’s final third, all their attempts have been stifled by the well organised Mohun Bagan defense.
Mohun Bagan also got a few times close to getting the third goal and looked dangerous on the set-pieces, but the ball didn’t find the back of the net.
Both Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan will now shift focus to Calcutta Football League as the either scheduled to face Peerless SC and Aryan Club respectively on August 5 and August 7.