CFL 2019/20: Black Panthers prey on Mohun Bagan2 min read
KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club overcame a brave challenge from Mohun Bagan to climb up to second place in Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ log with a 3-2 win on Thursday.
Those who anticipated a keenly contested affair between two traditional rivals at the Vivekannda Yuba Bharati Krirangan weren’t left disappointed.
Kareem Omolaja Nurain (7′), Tirthankar Sarkar (11′) and John Chidi (61′) were on target for the Black Panthers while Joseba Beitia (25′) and substitute Salva Chamorro (71′) pulled a couple of goals back for Mohun Bagan.
Going into the match Mohammedan SC coach Saheed Ramon made the only change by handing start to Firoj Ali in place of Amir Hossain.
Mohammedan started the match with more purpose as they threw everything they had to impose their will on their opponents during the early exchanges.
Through the impressive Vanlalbiaa Chhangte, Tirthankar and Chidi, Black Panthers showed plenty of attacking intent from the outset to put the Kibu Vicuna-coached side under pressure.
And their efforts were soon rewarded in the 7th minute when Kareem tapped home a Tirthankar corner to give Black Panthers an early lead.
Having scored, Mohammedan increased their pressure and attacked the rival goal ferociously going close on a few occasions. Four minutes later, Mohammedan’s pressure yielded another goal when Tirthankar sprinted quite a few yards to beat Mohun Bagan custodian Debjit Majumder with a wonderful shot from the edge of the box.
However, Mohun Bagan never once looked like giving up as the Mariners continued to put pressure on the Mohammedan back-line, and were finally rewarded when Beitia curled in a free-kick from 25 yards out, straight into the top corner.
It proved the confidence boost Mohun Bagan needed, while having the opposite effect on Mohammedan. The chances for Mohun Bagan started flowing, however Mohammedan contained the rampant Mariners until referee blew the half-time whistle with scoreline read 2-1 in Mohammedan’s favour.
Mohun Bagan came out of the sheds fired up to bring themselves back into contention, controlling the ball, winning set pieces and keeping Mohammedan pinned into their own back third.
However, by pushing forward Mohun Bagan have left themselves exposed and vulnerable at the back and Mohammedan took full advantage, with Chidi tapping in from close range in the 61st minute.
Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan did not lose hope and attacked with pace. The Mariners were rewarded for their efforts in 71st minute courtesy of Chamorro’s pinpoint header from a free-kick sent in by Beitia, but it only served to lessen the margin as Mohammedan held for a famous win to the delight of their coach.
“It’s hard for me to put it into words but you could see it in the emotion of my players it means a lot to us,” said Ramon.
Mohammedan, who now have 16 points from 9 matches, will face leaders Peerless in the potential title decider on September 23.