KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club beat Rainbow Athletic Club 2-1 on Thursday to finish their campaign in the 2017/18 Calcutta Football League.
League’s top scorer Aser Pierrick Dipanda Dicka put Mohammedan SC ahead in the 16th minute only for Yao Kouassi Bernard to restore parity for Rainbow AC in the 58th minute. However, substitute Satyam Sharma’s long range effort from 30-yards settled the issue for the Black Panthers in the 80th minute at Barasat Stadium.
Going into the game, Mohammedan SC coach Biswajit Bhattacharya made the only change to the side by handing start to Pranit Lama Tamang at the expense of Kamran Farooque.
Mohammedan SC dominated first half ball possession, but did not do much to threaten the opposition goal, while Rainbow AC, who were pressed back for the majority of the half, did well to absorb the pressure and looked dangerous on the few times they attacked.
The first half was characterized by a lack of goal scoring opportunities from both sides. In the infant stages of the game, Mohammedan SC had shown promise with some impressive passes, but when they resorted to long balls, Rainbow AC dealt with them with confidence.
However, the Black Panthers were rewarded for their persistent efforts as Dipanda ran on to a pass from Dipendu Dowary and rifled a right-foot shot past goalkeeper Ankur Das in the 16th minute.
The goal spurred the Black Panthers forward who increased their pressure upfront with Dipanda and Jiten Murmu linked up well keeping the Rainbow AC back-line on their toes, but were guilty of non-conversion as the first half ended 1-0.
The second half started with Rainbow AC having 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, Rainbow AC cancelled out Mohammedan SC’s lead in the 58th minute when Bernard rifled in an unstoppable volley to level matters.
Nonetheless, Mohammedan SC responded almost immediately when a collision in side the box between Jiten and Rainbow AC defender Sujit Sadhu led to the penalty in 61st minute. Jiten took the spot-kick himself and Ankur saved a poor effort low to his right.
Thereafter, Mohammedan SC backed by their fans pushed more men forward in a bid to regain the lead. Their efforts paid off as Satyam, who came in for Tirthankar Sarkar, picked the ball from Kalu Ogba, raced forward before unleashing a hefty drive from 30-yards to add his name to the scorers list in the 80th minute.
In the final minutes, both sides engaged in some end-to-end stuff before Mohammedan SC sealed a well-deserved 2-1 win.
The result meant Mohammedan SC finish their campaign third in the league table with 17 points from 9 games and the position will be secured should Peerless Sports Club, who are on 12 points from 7 outings, drop points in any of their remaining two matches.