By Ujjal Sarkhel
KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club suffered their first defeat of the season as Tollygunge Agragami beat them 2-1 in their 2016/17 CFL Premier Division – A encounter played at Mohammedan Sporting Ground on Tuesday.
Tollygunge took the lead through Nigerian Kareem Omolaja Nurain in the 27th minute, only for Leonce Dodoz to restore parity for Mohammedan SC in the 35th minute but once again Tollygunge struck through Palsang Lama in 39th minute to console the full three for his side from the important fixture.
Going in to this match Mohammedan SC coach Mridul Banerjee named an unchanged starting XI from the previous match against Army XI. On the other hand, Tollygunge Agragrami coach Ranjan Chowdhury made two change to the team that beat George Telegraph 2-1 by handing starts to defender Kareem, who came in place of striker Alfred Jaryan while Bijoy Mandi filled in for Reisangmei Vashum.
The Black Panthers dominated the game in the opening minutes, kepping the possession they placed a lot of attacks into the Tollygunge box, but it was the lack of finishing that let them down.
Meanwhile, Tollygunge took the lead against the run of play thanks to a gorgeous free-kick from Kareem in the 27th minute. The free-kick was awarded to Tollygunge after Lancine Toure brought down Joel Sunday just outside the Mohammedan SC box.
Having scored, Tollygunge pressed hard for an insurance goal leaving lots of gaps in the process, which Mohammedan SC exploited as Dodoz slotted the equaliser in the 35th minute.
Manvir Singh, from left side, delivered a low cross inside the Tollygunge box for Dodoz, who converted with his right foot to score his first goal in the new club.
Thereafter, both team tried hard to get the breakthrough and Tollygunge did find it four minutes later through Lama. This time around Kareem turned provider as he delivered a delightful cross into the Mohammedan SC box from a free-kick and Lama made no mistake to head home which gave his team a slender 2-1 advantage going into the breather.
Changing over, Mohammedan SC continued to put pressure and held midfield superiority but the muddy surface after heavy rain did not allowed them to play a passing game and Tollygunge defense cleared all the arial attacks with ease.
Tollygunge sikpper Surabuddin Mallcik, who worked with perfect understanding with Sunday and later on Alfred at the left flank, troubled the Mohammedan SC defense throughout the session.
Mohammedan SC, on the other hand, nearly succeeded in finding the equaliser in the 82nd minute but substitute Manjit Singh saw his header denied by Tollygunge custodian Kunzang Bhutia.
The win lifted Tollygunge at the summit of the table on seven points while Mohammedan SC remain on sixth with 3 points.
Mohammedan SC will face Bhawanipore Club in their next fixture on Sunday (August 13) at the same venue while Tollygunge take on Aryan Club on 12 August at Kalyani.
Photo By Debabrata Majumder.