KOLKATA: Arthur Kouassi struck a late winner to spare the blushes of Mohammedan Sporting Club as they scraped to a 1-0 victory over relegation-threatened BSS Sporting Club in their Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ encounter on Saturday afternoon at Mohammedan Sporting Ground.
The match seemed to be heading for a drab draw, but Kouassi, who substituted John Chidi at the hour mark, led from the front rifling in a volley from inside the box after BSS struggled to clear an Satyam Sharma cross inside the box.
It was a game that didn’t have many open scoring chances, but the Black Panthers will take the result anyway.
Going into the match, Mohammedan SC coach Saheed Ramon made three changes to the side from the previous match by handing starts to Chidi, Amir Hussain and Sujit Sadhu in place of Kouassi, Usman Ashik and Kamran Farroque.
Home fans who showed up hoping to see a dominant performance from the Black Panthers over BSS, had little to cheer about in the first-half, as a keenly contested but frustratingly scrappy battle developed between the two sides.
The hosts looked the most likely to open the scoring with Chidi threatening in attack, well supported by Vanlalbiaa Chhangte and Amir.
Despite some good build-up play and probing runs, the Black Panthers couldn’t get behind the well organised BSS defence and the particularly impressive Daniel Addo at the centre of it.
At the other end William Opoku and Bright Middleton led the BSS offensive efforts but like their opponents, couldn’t find a way to break down that final line.
Following a scoreless opening half which failed to produce a clear goal-scoring opportunity, the hosts showed far more urgency, and they came agonizingly close to taking the lead in the 55th minute when Vanlalbiaa controlled the ball neatly to create some space for himself before smashing a powerful drive wide.
A minute later Chidi’s shoot was cleared from the goal-line as the Black Panthers started to pile on the pressure.
To their credit BSS didn’t panic and looked to have weathered storm to run the clock down until a dramatic late twist broke their hearts.
Two minutes into injury time, Kouassi slotted home a pinpoint cross by Satyam from corner to snatch an unlikely win to the delight of the home crowd.
Following the win, Mohammedan SC moved into fourth place on log with 13 points from 8 matches and will face Mohun Bagan next on September 19.