Category: News

I-League 2018/19: Arrows look to shoot down Churchill

Goa, January 25, 2019: Churchill Brothers FC of Goa, resume their 12th Hero I-League title chase at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco Da Gama, Goa, on Saturday, January 26, 2019, against the plucky Indian Arrows in a return-leg fixture scheduled to kick-off at 5 pm IST.

Churchill notched up a solitary goal victory against their Republic Day visitors, in the first leg at the Kalinga Stadium in Cuttack, courtesy a Willis Plaza strike. Since then, the Trinidadian striker has moved on to become the joint-highest scorer of the league with 13 goals.

More importantly, Churchill, under the tutelage of Romanian coach Petre Gigiu, have demonstrated some attractive soccer and apart from Plaza’s sublime goalscoring form, Gambian winger Dawda Cessay has also been in excellent touch this season.

As a result of this, they find themselves in the third position after 13 rounds and just five behind leaders Chennai City FC. A win on Saturday will be gold dust as they aspire for a third Hero I-League triumph.

“It will be very difficult because we don’t have some players.  We play every game to win. If we lose one game, we are out of the title race. This game is very important for my team now. Of course, our opponents want to play good and want to gain some against us. To be in the fight, we must win every game and we are confident to win tomorrow although, we know that the game is not going to be easy for us,” said Gigui.

For the Indian Arrows, it has been a successful season, both in terms of the development and maturity, they have shown from their debut season last year to the results.

They have already overhauled their win record from last season’s campaign, and are looking good for more, given coach Floyd Pinto seems to have settled in on his formation and squad.

Speaking ahead of their game tomorrow Indian Arrows head coach Floyd Pinto said, “At this point of time, we are working on the basics of the players, both tactically and technically. We are very pleased that the players have improved in both aspects since the first game of the season. We hope that this improvement continues as the season goes on to earn more points.”

He further added, “There are too many players in Churchill Brothers who are attacking-minded. We can’t focus on one individual. We need to be a good defensive unit, as a whole. We need to hit them with the counter attacks with more precision.”

Churchill will still be a huge mountain to climb, given their form, physicality and quality, and the Arrows boys will do well to get something out of the game. The Tilak Maidan has seen the most goals, 23 in all, at any venue this season. Given Churchill’s form and the mood of their front men, the home fans can look forward to another positive and entertaining day of football.

Mohammedan pip Daimalu FC to reach Bodoland Martyrs Gold Cup semis

KOKRAJHAR, BODOLAND, ASSAM: Mohammedan Sporting Club booked their place in the semifinals of the 19th Bodoland Martyrs Gold Cup after beating Udalguri-based Daimalu FC 2-1 in the quarterfinal round on Tuesday at KDSA Ground in Bodoland, Assam.

Debasish Pradhan (53′) and Philip Adjah (67′) were on target for Black Panthers before Daimalu FC pulled a goal back in stoppage time though Sukur Singh.

The game lacked any real rhythm in the opening exchanges with both sides guilty of squandering possession too easily, in what was a cagey and somewhat frustrating start to the game.

Mohammedan SC, though, looked the more likely to open the scoring and almost did so in the 8th minute when Charles Atcha forced his way through on the left side of the box only to shot into a defender.

Black Panthers were moving the ball swiftly and crispy using the pace of Adjah and Safiul Rahman to penetrating the defense of Daimalu FC.

Meanwhile, Daimalu FC had their first chance of the encounter in the 16th minute when they were awarded a free-kick just outside the box, however, it was expertly punched away by Laltu Mondal in the Mohammedan SC goal.

Five minutes later, Charles almost pulled Mohammedan SC ahead but his effort cleared the bar.

Mohammedan SC, at the half hour mark, had another chance when the enterprising Satyam Sharma crossed from the right and Adjah shot first time, but straight at the rival custodian.

Thereafter, neither side were able to create any further chances in the first-half with the score deadlocked 0-0 as the teams headed for the change room at the break.

The game burst into life after the interval. Daimalu FC goalkeeper was called into action in the first minute of the second-half and pulled off a stunning safe to deny Satyam.

Black Panthers were all over Daimalu FC and asking more and more questions. Daimalu FC keeper produced another glorious save to keep Raghu Nandy’s charges at bay when he denied Adjah in a one-on-one inside the box, diving full length to stop the ball from going in.

But the pressure eventually told and Mohammedan SC stormed into the lead when Debasish slotted from close range in the 53rd minute after receiving the ball from midfield.

The setback served to awaken Daimalu FC from their slumber and they threw players forward with abandon, in search of an equalizer.

While Daimalu FC pushed for the equalizer they left a lots of gaps in the process, which Mohammedan SC exploited when Adjah got on the score-sheet in the 67th minute.

Nonetheless, Daimalu FC did manage to find a consolation goal in recognition of their efforts as Sukur Singh slotted in stoppage time after a failed clearance by defender Ayan Roy Chowdhury fell for the midfielder.

Philip Adjah helps young footballer

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club skipper Philip Adjah Tetteh made an incredible gesture as the Ghanaian hit-man donated money to Rehan Alam, an underprivileged footballer from Club’s youth development programme.

The 8-year-old Rehan participated in Club’s AIFF Grassroots Football festival held at Mohammedan Sporting Ground on this past Wednesday where he caught the eye’s of Adjah, who attended the event as a guest.

Adjah donated money for Rehan’s education and bought a couple of pairs of boots for him. He also assured Rehan’s parents all kinds of future assistance.

Bordoloi Trophy 2018: Action packed finale draws near

GUWAHATI: Mohammedan Sporting Club coach Raghunath Nandy says tomorrow’s final of the 2018 Bordoloi Trophy final will be tough but stressed that Black Panthers have prepared well to soar over Oil India FC.

Both sides will be locking horns in the final of the 65th edition of the competition at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium in Guwahati with Honorable Chief Minister of Assam Sri. Sarbananda Sonowal attending as the Chief Guest, kick-off 5:30 pm.

Oil India scraped past TRAU FC with a 3-2 come-from-behind win and will carry the advantage of being the home side. Whereas, Mohammedan SC were pushed to their limits by BSF Jalandhar in other semi-final and secured their spot in the final after surviving a penalty shootout with substitute goalkeeper Sourav Chakraborty proving their hero in the shootout.

A favourite is hard to pick as both are undefeated in the tournament and have proven themselves to be a lethal attacking force. With the likes of Philip Adjah, Prosenjit Chakraborty and Sumit Ghosh in the ranks, Mohammedan SC will always pose a goal threat but the same can be said of Oil India, for whom Sirandeep Moran and Mandila Rongmei have been in exceptional form.

Nandy has indicated his pleasure with how the campaign has progressed thus far and remain confident come kick-off that his side will go out and do the business to clinch their first Bordoloi Trophy title since 1991.

“It has been a long and difficult road to get to the final. It is a culmination of hard work and the preparation we did getting into this tournament,” Nandy said.

“We will play our normal game but bearing in mind that the most important thing for us is not to concede. Keeping things tight at the back will be important.”

“l have been working on my team and concentrating on what we need to do to win. We have our destiny in our own hands and I believe we have what it takes to win,” he added.

On the other hand, it’s a big ask for Oil India, who don’t have any foreigners in their side, but coach Subrata Bhattacharya (Jr.) believes the side has the talent and mental strength to do well.

“I think we are well prepared as we can be for this match.” Bhattacharya said. “We are facing a very tough opponent in Mohammedan SC and it will be tough for us, but hopefully we can make it a bit tough on Mohammedan SC too. I’ve been speaking to the boys about it. They have to be confident with themselves, they have to believe in themselves and they have actually shown for me a good style here so why shouldn’t they believe in themselves.”

Mohammedan SC have so far scored 6 goals and conceded two in their run up to the final, whereas Oil India  scored 7 themselves and conceded four. However, neither side have impressed on a regular basis, and one wonders whether they are holding something back for this stage.

Bordoloi Trophy 2018: Mohammedan SC shootout BSF for final spot

GUWAHATI: Substitute goalkeeper Sourav Chakraborty emerged the hero for Mohammedan Sporting Club as he saved two penalties against BSF Jalandhar and ensured his team’s passage in the final of 2018 Bordoloi Trophy on Tuesday.

The first semi-final of the competition at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Guwahati saw both sides level at 0-0 at the end of 90 minutes and the match went into the penalties with Mohammedan SC winning 6-5 via sudden death. Both teams missed a spot-kick each in the regulation shootout but the decisive error was made by Saddam Hossain as his effort was palmed away by Sourav.

The first-half was an evenly matched contest with the teams were watchful not to press too many men forward and as a result there were not many chances to pounce upon.

However, as the game progressed Mohammedan SC gradually gained control and created game’s first scoring opportunity when Philip Adjah controlled a ball outside the box only to fire his volley wide in the 14th minute.

BSF, on the other hand, did show some excellent moves in patches but find it difficult to penetrate into the rival box thanks to some brilliant defending by Prosenjit Pal.

After pushing up for a long time, Mohammedan SC created the best chance of the first-half in the 34th minute. Snehasish Dutta cut in from the right and with an intelligent ball sent Sumit Ghosh clear on the left. Sumit controlled the ball and tried to volley over the keeper but he was denied by a brilliant save from the rival custodian Harpreet Singh.

Thereafter, both sides battled hard in the midfield, but with the game turning physical there weren’t many chances as both sides went into the breather tied at goalless.

The second-half was played at much higher intensity than the first and both sides had some close chances with Mohammedan SC going extremely close twice in the opening fifteen minutes but was denied by poor finishing.

Bengal had their chances through David Asamoah, Adjah and Sumit, while BSF went close through Jitinder Rawat and Ramakanta Hembram but neither could get the breakthrough.

A last minute effort from substitute Prosenjit Chakraborty was denied by Harpreet and proved the final action of the game ahead of a penalty shootout with both teams left in a scoreless deadlock forcing the contest to be decided on penalties where Raghunath Nandi’s charges proved to be better shooters and prevailed 6-5.

Black Panthers will now play the final on November 8, 2018 against the winner between TRAU FC and Oil India.

Bordoloi Trophy 2018: Mohammedan, TRAU clash for top spot in Group B

GUWAHATI: 2nd Division League rivals Mohammedan Sporting Club and TRAU FC will be vying for top spot in Group B as they lock horns on Friday.

Although both sides are on six points and already assured of a place in the 2018 Bordoloi Trophy semi-finals after back-to-back wins over Assam Police Blues and Baarhoongkha FC respectively, still it’s a clash that will excite football fans in the region mainly because of the high intensity attacking brand of football both have adopted so far in the tournament.

However, TRAU look to have the edge, coming on the back of two convincing victories. The Manipur outfit have scored 6 goals and conceded none from their first two games and this is an impressive tally. The midfield and attack looks to be in sync but the only worry for them would be that their defense still remains untested going into a crucial top of the table clash.

Mohammedan SC, on the other hand, have matched TRAU in just about every department although they have not been able to be as convincing. While Assam Police managed to cause panic among the Mohammedan SC defenders in the final minutes of their game, Baarhoongkha FC were able to break the defense to score a goal.

Though Black Panthers coach Raghunath Nandy has made it clear that he won’t settle for anything less than the top spot but he has also indicated that he will ring the changes against TRAU.

The veteran coach is taking this game very seriously, but he intends to make the most of his team’s early qualification by giving a few starters a breather and allowing his fringe players more time on the pitch.

Nandy will doubtless keep faith with his beloved 4-5-1 formation as he introduces at least four new faces, with Charles Atcha taking over from Philip Adjah up front.

A subplot for this fixture features TRAU FC ace Princewill Emeka. The Nigerian who is currently the tournament’s top scorer with 4 goals, will be facing his former side for whom he turned out in recently concluded 2018/19 Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’.

The winner of this encounter tops Group B and advances into the semis to face the second placed team in Group A. The match that is expected to entertain the crowd with the brand of football that both teams have adopted, will take place at Mukalmua Stadium in Nalbari, with kick off scheduled at 3 pm.

Bordoloi Trophy 2018: Mohammedan beat Baarhoongkha to enter semis

GUWAHATI: Mohammedan Sporting Club booked their place in the semifinals of 2018 Bordoloi Trophy with one game in hand after beating Baarhoongkha FC 3-1 on Wednesday in their second Group B game.

Rakesh Karmakar (24′), Phillip Adjah (42′) and Charles Atcha (87′) were on target for Black Panthers while Urjay Brahma (74′) pulled a goal back for Baarhoongkha FC.

Mohammedan SC made a bright start to the game, enjoying most of the early ball possession on a humid afternoon at Nalbari’s Mukalmua Stadium, while Baarhoongkha FC looked lethargic and off the pace throughout the opening stanza.

As expected Mohammedan SC had the best opportunities and ran the show for much of the game with the shots coming from all directions keeping the Baarhoongkha FC back-line busy as well as forcing some big saves from their keeper.

However, Black Panthers weren’t going to be kept at a distance forever and it ended up being Rakeah who opened the scoring after racing between the defenders to place the ball past keeper in the 24th minute.

Mohammedan SC then took control of the match and looked dangerous every time they pushed forward. Prosenjit Chakraborty tried to curl the ball into the top corner, but Baarhoongkha FC keeper produced a fine save to deny the winger.

Meanwhile, Baarhoongkha FC continued to commit defensive mistakes and were nearly punished in the 38th minute but David Asamoah failed to keep his effort on target from close range.

However, Mohammedan SC did manage to score their second when Adjah scored a brilliant right footer in the 42nd minute after making a lung busting run on the right side.

Baarhoongkha FC, on the other hand, looked well out of their depth throughout the first-half and went into the break trailing 2-0, with a mountain to climb in the second stanza.

Back from recess, Black Panthers continued to dominate, but were unable to really stretch the Baarhoongkha FC defense and create scoring chances from open play. Adjah, however, twice threatened with shots from distance.

Nonetheless, as the game progressed Baarhoongkha FC began to control the proceedings with greater possession and looked more threatening going forward, thanks to crisp passing, good off-the-ball movement and dazzling individual skills.

Having missed some half chances, Barhoongkha FC finally pulled a goal back in the 74th minute through Urjay Bramha, who slotted past Laltu Mondal from close.

Baarhoongkha FC had the chance to level matters four minutes later, but after Sandip Brahma raced clear of the defense he was unable to hit the net, sending a left-footed shot just wide of the far upright.

Overall though it was Black Panthers who looked slightly more dangerous in attack and a third goal always seemed a possibility, while Baarhoongkha FC despite throwing on several attackers, struggled to breach their opponents’ defense.

With Baarhoongkha FC pushing hard for an equalizer, Mohammedan SC simply had to run down the clock as they shut the local outfit out and saw out their second win of the campaign, but not before substitute Charles tapped home for the third from Ujjal Howladar’s pass in the 87th minute, to all but seal the three points and a place in the semifinals.

Adjah was pleased to get on the board, but his main focus was getting the win and progressing in the competition.

“Of course it’s always nice to score but the main thing is we are through to the next stage,” he says.

“We came up against a very tough side but it’s what we do. We dig in, we fight and we came out with the right result.” Adjah added.

Mohammedan SC will take on TRAU FC next in their last Group B fixture on Friday at the same venue.

Bordoloi Trophy 2018: Mohammedan look to continue winning momentum

GUWAHATI: Mohammedan Sporting Club will look to continue their path towards the semi-finals when they take on Baarhoongkha FC in their second Group B fixture of 2018 Bordoloi Trophy on Wednesday at Mukalmua Stadium in Nalbari, kick-off at 3 pm.

The reputation between these two sides indicates that the match will be a real David vs Goliath battle but Black Panthers may find the going tougher than many are predicting.

Baarhoongkha FC will certainly be in no mood to gift three points to Mohammedan SC as they are in dire need of those points themselves, having lost 1-0 to TRAU FC on the opening day to leave their semi-final hopes hanging by a thread. And if any of Mohammedan SC players had any doubts about how difficult this tournament could prove, those were quickly dispelled in Sunday’s hard-fought 1-0 win over Assam Police Blues.

A win for Mohammedan SC would virtually secure them a spot in the semi-finals but there is no complacency from coach Raghunath Nandy when it comes to taking on a Assamese side on their own turf.

Black Panthers produced an impressive attacking display their opening match against Assam Police Blues, however they were wasteful in front of goal.

Nandy has admitted that his side were not at their best against Assam Police but he was still happy with his players’ determination to get a result. Nonetheless, they will need to improve if they are to topple Baarhoongkha FC.

”It would be a mistake to underestimate Baarhoongkha. It’s a very important game and we can’t be complacent. We know that all the teams will be tough out here.” Nandy said.

“I don’t know much about Baarhoongkha FC but I heard they played well in their opening game with TRAU even though they lost and we respect them by all means.”

Nandy also adds that Baarhoongkha FC having tasted defeat at the hands of TRAU will be out to prove a point.

“We approach every game as a hard game, no matter who we play. Of course we will be out to win that match as well but again we will not take them lightly and look to put a good show, ” he concluded.

Mohammedan SC are an attacking side and have every reason to unleash their full arsenal on Baarhoonkha FC as goal difference could prove crucial at the end of the group phase.

The Black Panthers had a training session earlier today at Guwahati’s Nehru Stadium as they prepare for the game with no injury concerns. However, Philip Adjah, Kamran Farooque, Laltu Hembram and Laltu Mondal are walking a suspension tightrope.

Bordoloi Trophy 2018: Adjah inspires Mohammedan to win over Assam Police Blues

GUWAHATI: Mohammedan Sporting Club began their campaign in Group B of the 2018 Bordoloi Trophy with a 1-0 win over Assam Police Blues on Sunday.

The action swung from end to end as the two attack-minded teams traded blows but it wasMohammedan SC who eventually triumphed thanks to Philip Adjah’s 18th-minute strike at Nalbari’s Mukalmua Stadium.

Mohammedan SC were the first to launch attacks, with Kamran Farooque’s dazzling overlapping runs looking dangerous during the early stages.

Laltu Hembram had the first shot of the game in the sixth minute but it sailed over the bar, and that was followed by Assam Police’s first threatening attack which saw Lachit Boro try to play a through ball to the on-running Sanjay Das, but he arrived late.

As the clock wound down in the first-half, most of the play had taken place at the heart of the field and the goalkeepers had less to do, only called into action when taking goal kicks.

However, a moment of sheer brilliance by David Asamoah and a clinical finish by Adjah opened the scoring for Mohammedan SC in the 18th minute.

Having taken the lead, Mohammedan SC got a much needed confidence boost and they increased their pressure up front dominating the game entirely. Despite creating numerous scoring opportunities it was lack of finishing that saw first-half ended 1-0.

Assam Police started the second-half stronger, and came within inches of equalizing in the 54th minute but Laltu Mondal made a fine save to keep his side ahead.

It looked at that stage as if Assam Police would go on to score the equalizer but they were frustrated by a Mohammedan SC outfit well drilled by Raghunath Nandi and were restricted mainly to a raft of half chances.

On the other hand, Mohammedan SC, came back into the game as their pacey midfielders Prosenjit Chakraborty and Ujjal Hawlader threatened with their direct running and Prosenjit nearly caught out Assam Police keeper with a 66th-minute cross.

Mohammedan SC kept up the pressure and Assam Police keeper made a couple more smart stops to keep out a header by his own defender, as well as a pile-driver from Laltu Hembram in the 74th minute.

Four minutes later it should have been 2-0 had not Adjah’s free-kick from 30-yards out struck the crossbar.

Assam Police threw numbers forward in the final ten minutes of the game forcing series of corners, but were unable to find the back of the net as Black Panthers held on for a well-deserved win.

“We had a lot of opportunities to close out the game but couldn’t get that second goal,” Nandi said. “We will now have to recuperate as this was a very difficult match. I hope we will be able to score more goals in the next game because if we don’t take our chances then that will be a problem as the tournament goes on.”

Mohammedan SC will take on Baarhoongkha FC next on 31 October, 2018 at the same venue.

Bordoloi Trophy 2018: Mohammedan poised for a strong start against Assam Police Blues

GUWAHATI; Mohammedan Sporting Club would look to open their 2018 Bordoloi Trophy campaign on a positive note when they face Assam Police Blues in a Group B fixture on Sunday at Mukalmua Stadium in Nalbari, kick-off at 2 pm.

The Black Panthers recently finished runners in Nagaon Independence Day Cup, which boasted the hopes of the club faithfuls. With expectations growing the pressure is also increasing on Black Panthers to go out and challenge for the title.

Mohammedan SC, who are the second most successful team in the history of Bordoloi Trophy, have the right to consider themselves the favourites. But that previous success will be somewhat of a double-edged sword as it also makes them one of the sides others will be keen to beat.

Coach Raghunath Nandi knows that there is a reasonable amount of pressure on his side to deliver a similar result to Independence Day Cup, and the veteran tactician has insight into what is required at this level of competition and believes the preparations the team has followed will assist them in achieving their objective.

“We have prepared for this tournament. We have been working together for a while, we have brought a good team here, a competitive team, which will perform to the best of their ability.” Nandi said.

Nandi says so far everything has been going according to plan, which has given both team management and the players a boost ahead of the tournament.

“Players are performing well in training and I am so far satisfied with their performance. We are concentrating on our first match against Assam Police Blues. It’s this match which will determine the rest of the competition for us, so to get a good result will certainly give us confidence,” he added.

Assam Police Blues is somewhat of an unknown commodity to Black Panthers, but Nandi is insistent that his team need only concern themselves with their own performance.

“For every match there is a lot of analysis done on our opponents, but I really think it’s more about how we play on the day determines what result we’ll achieve,” he explained.