KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club’s title hopes in the ongoing Calcutta Football League buried following a 2-1 defeat against Mohun Bagan on Monday.
Mohun Bagan scored in each half through Azharuddin Mallick (38th minute and 90+1st) to make Shekh Faiaz’s opener (22nd) count little at Kalyani Stadium.
This was Mohun Bagan’s first win against Mohammedan SC in over four years. Interestingly, last time when Mohun Bagan beat Mohamedan SC that was also a CFL encounter which was played at Kalyani in March 2013.
Going into the match, Mohammedan SC coach Biswajit Bhattacharya made only one change to the side from the previous match by bringing in defender Amit Chakraborty — who started against Pathachakra Club in the opener — at the expense of Kamran Farooque.
The game began with both sides engaging in some end-to-end action during the opening quarter. Mohammedan SC distinctly had an upper hand with the chances they created early in the match. Mohun Bagan in the bargain did well but could not penetrate the Mohammedan SC defense.
Having gone close on a few occasions, the Black Panthers took the lead in the 22nd minute. A horrible misunderstanding between two Mohun Bagan defenders allowed the winger to slot from Dipanda Dicka’s pass.
Thereafter, Mohammedan SC continued to push up and create chances but lacked the finishing touch in the rival box. Meanwhile, at the other end, Mohun Bagan pulled level against the run of play with Azharuddin scoring from Bayi Kamo Stephane’s right sided pass in the 38th minute.
The goal stunned Mohammedan SC momentarily but they did not lose hope and kept on the pressure as the game dragged towards the end of first half. The Black Panthers had a chance through Jiten Murmu two minutes before half time but the striker was unlucky to see his effort go off target from close range as both sides went into the breather tied at 1-1.
The second half was a similar story to the first as Mohammedan SC continued to dominate proceedings. However, once again it was the lack of finishing that let them down.
Having created numerous half chances, the Black Panthers went extremely close midway through the half through Dipanda, whose attempt from inside the box was denied by Mohun Bagan custodian Shilton Paul after being set up by Dipendu Dowary in the 62nd minute.
In the final quarter, both sides engaged in an end-to-end battle, while Mohammedan SC had the better chances to take the lead, Mohun Bagan capitalized on a defensive error as Azharuddin head home the winner from Chesterpaul Lyngdoh’s cross.
Following the result, Mohammedan SC remained on third spot in the table with 10 points from 6 games while Mohun Bagan moved to the summit with 19 points from 7 games.