KOLKATA: In less than 48 hours from the grueling Kolkata Derby against Mohun Bagan in Kalyani, Mohammedan Sporting Club is set to take the field again in Calcutta Football League when they face Railway FC on Wednesday at Barasat Stadium.
Mohammedan SC is placed third, with 10 points from 6 matches, behind Mohun Bagan and East Bengal and with the title race looking set to be decided between the top two sides in the table, the Black Panthers will be keen to present a good account of itself in the remaining matches.
The Black Panthers head into the game on the back of a 2-1 defeat against Mohun Bagan and only a strange and highly unlikely set of results would see them finishing among the top teams.
Mohammedan SC, until two matches ago, were in contention for the title, although not favourites. But a draw and loss against Calcutta Customs and Mohun Bagan in successive games have buried their chances.
For Mohammedan SC, nothing has gone right since their last victory against Peerless SC two weeks ago. The over-dependence on 2016/17 I-League’s top scorer Aser Pierrick Dipanda Dicka has apparently let them down. Their weak defense and failure to convert scoring chances owing to poor finish will continue to be the main cause for worry.
Despite losing sight of the title, Mohammedan SC coach Biswajit Bhattacharya still believes there is plenty to play for and strictly advised his players to concentrate on the task at hand.
“I am happy about my team’s performance. Boys put up a brilliant performance in all the matches. We want to continue the good work in our remaining matches and finish the league on high,” coach Bhattacharya said.
Going into the match, Mohammedan SC will look to the likes of Dipanda, Jiten Murmu and Manvir Singh to inspire them to victory, though all three misfired against Mohun Bagan but coach Bhattacharya insists that the trio will be able to put the disappointment behind and prove themselves again.
Mohammedan SC has no noteworthy injury problems. However, coach Bhattacharya will have to make at least one change to his starting line-up, as skipper Rana Gharami is unavailable due to suspension, following his two yellow cards earlier in the league.
There seems to be a feeling among the fans that the CFL is done and dusted, regardless of the marginal chance of winning. The consensus seems to be that the team must make supporters feel proud once again; If not of the team’s results, at least of their attitude and commitment.