KOLKATA: United Sports Club beat Railway FC 1-0 in their final league stage fixture of the ongoing Calcutta Football League on Tuesday, which meant Mohammedan Sporting will now have to go through the play-off round to qualify for the quarterfinals.
Going in to the match United Sports only needed a draw to secure their place in the quarterfinals. Whereas, Mohammedan, who were beaten by BSS Sporting Club yesterday, were hoping for a favour from Railway FC in order to avoid play-offs. Nonetheless, skipper Jagannath Oraon struck the winner in the 83rd minute to secure full points for Untied Sports.
Despite some quick and accurate passes from both sets of players, neither side was able to establish dominance over the midfield during the early stages which made for an end-to-end, open encounter.
United Sports were pressing high without the ball, trying to put pressure on the Railway FC defence which looked organised and comfortable to dictate the pace of the match and limit the United Sports’ options to counterattacks.
Playing out from the back, Railway FC men were looking to connect with target-man Sukuram Sardar but Dennis Dauda, at the centre of United Sports defence, had little trouble defusing the searching long balls and crosses aimed at the young forward.
By midway through the first period United Sports were piling on the pressure. Jagannath and Subrata Murmu led United Sports’ offensive efforts but like their opponents, failed to be as lethal as they needed to be in front of goal.
Tonmoy Ghosh offered some attacking thrust to United Sports with darting runs on the left wing and Railway FC could consider themselves somewhat lucky to be still on level terms in the break.
United Sports continued with that momentum as they came out for the second-half, controlling the ball, winning set pieces and keeping Railway FC pinned into their own back third, but between some solid defending and the safe hands of goalkeeper Rana Chakraborty, the attackers were unable to get an edge on their opponent.
However despite his best efforts Rana could not hold United Sports off forever and as the clock headed into the 83rd minute mark Railway FC succumbed to pressure from United Sports when Jagannath slotted a volley in which eventually turned out to be the winner.
The victory saw United Sports finishing the league phase of the competition with 10 points from 5 outings and in the process they have also secured a direct qualification in the quarterfinals.