Category: Durand Cup

Durand Cup 2019: ATK Punish Wasteful Mohammedan

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club finished their 2019 Durand Cup camapign on a sour note after suffering a 1-0 loss against ATK in their last Group B fixture at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Friday.

The game started half an hour late due to a torrential downpour since afternoon. Even the entire 90 minutes duration was accompanied with constant rainfall, though the match remained uninterrupted.

William Pauliankhum scored in the 3rd minute itself to give ATK an early lead. Mohammedan SC got a few chances to level the score but failed to convert each of them.

It was a tough day at work for the ATK goalie Avilash Paul as he made some brilliant saves to deny Mohammedan SC the all-important equaliser, as the Black Panthers were left to rue their numerous missed chances and watched ATK celebrate their maiden Durand Cup win.

For Mohammedan SC coach Subrata Bhattacharya it was a disappointing end to the tournament, but he says he can’t fault the effort from his charges.

“They definitely gave everything that they could right until the end physically, and they just ran out of gas against a side that was superior. We are disappointed because we wanted to end this competition with a win, however, I can’t fault the effort and attitude from our players,” said Bhattacharya.

Durand Cup 2019: Mohammedan Seek Fitting End To Promising But Insufficient Campaign

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club and ATK FC look to close out their 2019 Durand Cup run on a positive note when they square off at Vivekananda Yubabharati Krirangam on Friday, kick-off 6 pm.

With Mohammedan SC have already been forced to give up on their semi-final dreams coach Subrata Bhattacharya was asked about the age-old sports cliche of “playing for pride.”

“We have already got pride and now we want to get a good result in our last game,” said Bhattacharya.

The Black Panthers have had their moments over the past two weeks but not consistent enough to get a top-four spot. Following their 2-0 opening day defeat against Mohun Bagan, Mohammedan SC showed ruthless efficiency to thrash Indian Navy 6-2 in their second Group B encounter with Ivorian striker Arthur Kouassi grabbing a fifer.

Mohammedan SC have looked competitive and organised at both ends of the park against Navy, but with tournament organizers giving preference to head-to-head record instead of goal-difference, the Black Panthers will rue their opening day loss. If they had been able to draw that match, they would still have a realistic shot at the knock-out stages.

Nonetheless, Bhattacharya said he don’t want to dwell in the past and fully focussed on their last group game against ATK, a side which he believes will provide a stern challenge.

“Playing against ATK is going to be very difficult but beating Navy has given us the needed confidence. We take every team as very difficult and we have to apply our game plan against them,”

“ATK have been playing some really good football and obviously have some real speed in their line-up. We are going to have to make sure that we’ve got the players on the pitch that can deal with their physicality and their speed,” he added.

Bhattacharya has mentioned that Mohammedan SC would not be rotating for the sake of rotation, so a full-strength team is expected.

Kouassi, who is expected to torment ATK’s rearguard tomorrow, says the Black Panthers will give of their best to make their fans happy.

“We are taking the game very seriously. We play for our supporters. We have to give it our best shot as we always do,” vowed Kouassi.

“We have been unlucky and also we are a young team with most of the players are at such big stage for the very first time. This disappointment can only make us grow and make progress.” he added.

Meanwhile, the tournament has been a big learning curve for ATK so far and coach Deggie Cardozo believes that every match is an opportunity for his team to gain valuable experience and improve.

Cardozo’s men have performed strongly in their two matches but are yet to post a win, due mainly to their inability to find the net. A 1-1 draw with Navy on the opening day was followed by a 2-1 loss to Mohun Bagan, which promptly put an end to their semi-final hopes.

But with nothing to lose against Mohammedan SC, ATK has every reason to throw off the shackles and try to sign off with a win – a considerable feat given ATK is participating in the competition with their reserve team.


Durand Cup 2019: Mohammedan Ride On Kouassi Fifer To Revive Semifinal Hopes

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club will have all to play for in their final Durand Cup 2019 Group B match against ATK on August 16 after thrashing Indian Navy 6-2 to revive their hopes of a semifinal place.

The victory took their tally to three points at second place. Mohammedan Sporting will need to win and hope the  Mariners falter against Indian Navy, for them to go through.

The big win was powered by Arthur Kouassi’s fifer. The Ivorian was well supported by Musa Mudde, who not only excelled in his role as secondary striker but also contributed with a goal.

The first-half was a rather evenly balanced affair, although Mohammedan looked the more likely to find the back of the net. Kouassi looked dangerous whenever in possession of the ball, while Samsad Ali and Vanlalbiaa Chhangte made some excellent runs off the ball. Satyam Sharma, meanwhile, was again fighting hard in his defensive midfield role.

Both teams started the game a bit tentative, with no real opportunities for either side in the first 25 minutes of play, except for a shot at goal from Kouassi in the 7th minute which was blocked by a defender. This slight chance came after some good work on the right flank from Samsad.

However, after 30 minutes the game opened up. First it was Navy that got a fine opportunity in a counter-attacking move and, straight thereafter, Mohammedan got a chance via Musa, however, the Ugandan failed to connect properly with the ball.

Kouassi’s ferocious shot at goal in the 42nd minute also failed to find the back of the net, while, on the other side of the pitch, Moniruzzaman Ansari made a great save to take care that Navy didn’t score the first goal of the match.

The second-half started as a continuation of the first, with Navy preferring to sit back and catch Mohammedan on the break.

Slowly, Mohammedan upped the tempo and the pressure on Navy goal. Various good opportunities came the home side’s way, with the best coming for Musa and Kouassi.

Mohammedan continued to press on, and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 55th minute though Kouassi.

From the goal onwards, Mohammedan dominated the proceedings and doubled their lead just six minutes later when Musa slotted past Bhaskar Roy after some brilliant work.

Although Navy pulled a goal back though Britto PM in the 71st minute, but it was one way traffic as Mohammedan scored the third goal in the very next minute though Kouassi.

The scoring spree did not end there as Kouassi increased the lead further after striking home in the 76th minute to complete his first hat-trick in Mohammedan colors.

Meanwhile, Navy had a couple of good opportunities to reduce the margin but all their attempts have been stifled by the well organised Mohammedan defense led by Kareem Omolaja.

Mohammedan SC didn’t take their foot off the accelerator and continued to dominate proceedings as Kouassi added two more respectively in the 85th and 90th minute.

Navy, meanwhile, pulled a goal though Britto when he converted from the spot in stoppage time.

Durand Cup 2019: Mohammedan, Navy Lock Horns In Survival Battle

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club will have an opportunity to turn things around and forget their unlucky loss in the hands of Mohun Bagan when they face Indian Navy in their second Durand Cup Group B fixture on Saturday at Mohun Bagan Ground, kick-off 3 PM.

Although the opening day did not generate the desired result, Mohammedan coach Subrata Bhattacharya pointed quickly to the silver linings in the 2-0 defeat with one eye on the challenges and the possibilities ahead.

“I think there are a lot of positives in that game and we need to take those,” Bhattacharya said. “Obviously, there is even more hunger toward the second game now because we are with our backs against the wall. We have two games remaining and they are like two finals for us.”

Most of those positives stemmed from how Mohammedan functioned on the ball. They enjoyed the advantage in possession and moved the ball precisely in the middle third only to lack cutting edge in the final third.

Bhattacharya has praised his players for their application and diligence as they attempted to break down Mohun Bagan, but he also underscored the need for more incisiveness in the final third in their second encounter.

The circumstances plus the prospect of playing against a Navy side who predicated on solidity first and foremost, increase the need to create more opportunities from the run of play.

“The Navy will be very difficult opponents, they play a possession game and they hold the ball well. The key to the match will be the midfield, we need to win the ball in those areas. We talked with the boys about the importance of this game, we need to be confident and we must win otherwise our tournament is over,” Bhattacharya observed.

Navy, on the other hand, may feel that they failed to do themselves justice in their opening match and are eager to give a better account of themselves this time around.

Navy took an early lead against ATK but struggled to hold onto it despite some sustained periods of possession, and will need to deliver up front against Mohammedan if they too want to remain in the hunt.

Coach Abhilash Nair couldn’t hide his disappointment following his side’s draw against ATK, and knows it will not get any easier against the Black Panthers, but he believes his side is more than capable of causing an upset.

He says his side will approach every game on its merit, and together with the team’s assistant coach Antony Abraham, they will make the necessary adjustments. And he is confident they will come up with a winning formula against Mohammedan.

Subrata Bhattacharya Demands Immediate Response After Opening Day Loss

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club coach Subrata Bhattacharya has acknowledged that his side were not on par with Mohun Bagan following their 2-0 defeat in 2019 Durand Cup opener on Friday at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan.

The Black Panthers were beaten after a convincing display from The Mariners, who created the greater chances and looked threatening each time they poured forward, and Bhattacharya admits his side were a level below their counterparts in their on-field display.

“They had better energy and better intentions – I think we were a yard away from what they were doing,” he said after the game. “Each time we got the ball we lost it, and they were faster on transitions. When we regained possession, we were not as swift or as quick.”

Bhattacharya noted that set-pieces, from which both of the game’s goals were scored, are a vital component of the game, and hopes his side will be able to bounce back quickly from the loss.

“We just need to go back and re-think what happened today. I believe in the group and I know that they will pick themselves up and respond from this defeat,” he added.

Durand Cup 2019: Mohun Bagan Soar Past Mohammedan In Opener

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club went down 2-0 against Mohun Bagan in the 2019 Durand Cup opener on Friday at Vivekananda Yubabharati Krirangan in Kolkata.

Mohun Bagan dominated the game from gun to tape and should have won by a bigger margin, but will leave satisfied with three precious points.

Spanish striker Salva Chamorro (2′ and 23′) scored twice in the first-half to hand Mohun Bagan crucial three points.

Mohun Bagan were the better side in the opening exchanges and they managed to grab an early goal through Chamorro, who beat Mohammedan custodian Subham Roy with a glancing header from Joseba Beitia’s free-kick two minutes into the game.

From that goal onwards, Mohun Bagan dominated the proceedings, but poor decision-making let them down in the final third.

Mohammedan, on the other hand, were forced to make a change in the 13th minute when Hira Mondal was stretchered off and his place taken by Asif Ali Molla on the right side of defense.

The Mariners were all over Mohammedan and asking more and more questions, and despite his best efforts Subham could not hold Mohun Bagan off forever and as the clock headed into the 23rd minute mark Ashutosh Mehta sent a curling cross from the right that found Chamorro’s header that eluded Subham to double The Mariners lead.

Mohun Bagan continued their dominance and should have been three up after 35 minutes when Ashutosh swung in a cross from the right and Chamorro climbed above Mohammedan defenders to meet the ball but couldn’t direct the header on goal.

Mohammedan who looked well out of their depth throughout the first-half had their only crack on the goal in the 45th minute when Musa Mudde won a ball in the midfield and found Arthur Kouassi, who beat the offside trap and put in a diving header on goal, but Shilton Paul produced in a string punch to the left to keep the ball from going in.

That proved to be the the last meaningful passage of play as the referee blew for the half-time whistle with Mohun Bagan leading 2-0.

Seeing his midfield being walked over by The Mariners, Mohammedan coach Subrata Bhattacharya made a change, Amir Hossain coming off for Mohammad Amirul three minutes to the break.

Mohun Bagan maintained a total control in the second-half but they took their foot of the pedal as Mohammedan tried to impose themselves on the game but there was no cohesion or belief, even simple passes and crosses were near impossible tasks for The Black Panthers.

Although Amirul an Sovan Sen offered Mohammedan some hope with their darting runs in Mohun Bagan’s final third, all their attempts have been stifled by the well organised Mohun Bagan defense.

Mohun Bagan also got a few times close to getting the third goal and looked dangerous on the set-pieces, but the ball didn’t find the back of the net.

Both Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan will now shift focus to Calcutta Football League as the either scheduled to face Peerless SC and Aryan Club respectively on August 5 and August 7.

Kamran Farooque: Mohammedan Sporting Fears No Team

KOLKATA: Newly appointed Mohammedan Sporting Club skipper Kamran Farooque is looking forward to their 2019 Durand Cup opener against Mohun Bagan at Vivekananda Yubabharati Krirangan on Friday.

Although Black Panthers facing a mountain in Mohun Bagan, who have a rich pedigree in the competition winning it 16 times, Kamran cut a confident figure on Thursday during the official pre-match media briefing.

“We have prepared a strong team for last two months under our coach Subrata Bhattacharya, that can challenge any team. Playing against the biggest sides in the competition is always exciting because that’s where we players really get the opportunity to test ourselves individually and as a collective,” he said.

The young defender has also acknowledged Mohun Bagan’s stature but did not forget to mention that they too are a big team: “Mohun Bagan are a huge team, and we respect them, but make no mistake Mohammedan Sporting is no small team. The best team on the day will win.”

When he was asked weather he has any information about their opponents or not his answer was a straightforward no. However, he later explained: “Since it’s the first match of the season both teams haven’t been exposed that much. It’s not just that we don’t have information about them, it applies on Mohun Bagan as well.”

Although a lot of focus will be paid to Mohun Bagan’s Spanish contingent, Kamran is insistent that his team need only concern themselves with their own performance.

“Are we intimidated by their presence? No. They have two legs and two hands so do we, rest will be taken care on the field. We must focus on our abilities and not think of our opponents. I think it’s more about how we play on the day that determines what result we will achieve.” he concluded.

Durand Cup 2019: Black Panthers Eye Mariners Scalp

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club knows well what awaits them against Mohun Bagan when they cross swords in the 2019 Durand Cup opener on Friday (August 2, 2019) at Vivekananda Yubabharati Krirangan, kick-off 6 PM.

The Black Panthers gaffer Subrata Bhattacharya has steadfastly refused to set targets at the competition but revealed that the potentially explosive clash against Mohun Bagan would be crucial for his charges if they are to make an early statement at world’s third oldest football tournament.

“We have assembled a good team for the tournament. Matches will say whether we could achieve our ambitions or not. We need to have a positive start. The first match is always very important because it will give us confidence to head into the rest of the tournament. We might lack the needed experience in this team, but we have players who believe in themselves and have passion and motivation to achieve some good results. This is a side that can match any side in this tournament,” Bhattacharya told on the eve of the clash.

“I think we are well prepared and the atmosphere is positive and players want to give their best. For us the philosophy remains to live a day at a time.” he added.

Newly appointed Black Panthers skipper Kamran Farooque also sound confident: “There are many good players in our team and they have a great potential. We hope they can help us to achieve positive results. We will play against a quality Mohun Bagan team and we need to focus on the duties our coach give us, either in attacking or defending situations.”

This is the perfect test for Mohammedan Sporting to see how far they really are in terms of competing against Kolkata’s biggest giants. For years, Mohammedan Sporting have usually done well against the stronger sides they have come up against, struggling to beat the lesser teams on the city.

Mohammedan Sporting appear to lack potency in attack so they are unlikely to want to get into an open match against an Mohun Bagan team that has dangerous attacking flair with the likes of Salvador Chamorro in their ranks.

Bhattacharya is likely to stick with his cautious approach, being the underdog in this game, although playing on the counter-attack could benefit Black Panthers. Mohammedan Sporting will look to dominate possession and move quickly in the offensive third.

Desmos Athur Kouassi, who banged 6 goals in 7 apperances at 2nd Division League last season, is expected to lead the front-line. The Ivoirian is a crafty dribbler with a high work-rate and is nearly as good at creating chances as he is at scoring, and will have something to fear as the lanky forward can spark a moment of magic out of nowhere.

Subrata Bhattacharya Names Mohammedan Sporting Squad For Durand Cup

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club coach Subrata Bhattacharya has announced his squad to compete in the 129th Durand Cup, commencing from 2 August 2019.

The Durand Cup, world’s third oldest football tournament, takes place in Kolkata for the first time from 2 August to 24 August. Mohammedan Sporting Club have been drawn in Group B where they will face Indian Navy, ATK and Mohun Bagan.

The two-time winners will open their tournament against Mohun Bagan on 2 August in Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, followed by Indian Navy at Mohun Bagan Ground on 10 August. The Black Panthers will return to Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan for their last round-robin match against ATK on 16 August.


GOALKEEPERS: Moniruzzaman Ansari, Subham Roy, Subhranil Bose.

DEFENDERS: Asif Ali Molla, Kamran Farooque, Kareem Omolaja Nurain, Sujit Sadhu, Balwinder Singh, Hira Mondal.

MIDFIELDERS: Tirthankar Sarkar, Satyam Sharma, Musa Mudde, Safiul Rahman, Indrajit Das, Firoj Ali, Vanlalbiaa Chhangte, Sovan Sen, Prosenjit Chakraborty.

FORWARDS: Samsad Ali, Mohammad Amirul, Amir Hossain, Desmos Arthur Kouassi.

Head Coach: Subrata Bhattacharya

Durand Cup Tickets Go On Sale For Kolkata and Siliguri Matches

Kolkata: The tickets of Durand Cup, which is making a comeback after three years, are priced between Rs 20 and Rs 100 and are available for Kolkata and Siliguri matches.

“Tickets for the 2019 edition of The Durand Cup matches are priced between INR 20-100 and will be available exclusively across BookMyShow’s web and mobile platforms. Fans can book their tickets to the games in Kolkata and Kalyani starting Thursday,” a media statement said.

Mohun Bagan will take on Mohammedan Sporting to kick off the competition on August 2 at the Saltlake Stadium, which will also host the semifinals (August 20) and final (August 24).

Asia’s oldest cup competition will see 16 teams, including six each from I-League and Indian Super League, battle it out across six venues — Saltlake Stadium, Mohun Bagan Ground, East Bengal Ground, Kalyani and Siliguri.

Army Green are the defending champions, having won their maiden title beating NEROCA FC on penalties in the last edition in 2016.

Durand Cup started in 1888 as an Army Cup but was later opened for other clubs as Mohammedan Sporting were the first team from Kolkata to win the title in 1940.

The Big Two of the Maidan, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, are the most successful teams of the competition, winning 16 times each.