Category: Calcutta Football League

CFL 2018/19: Mohammedan, East Bengal Set For A Epic Showdown

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club will not be short of motivation when they take on East Bengal in Mini Kolkata Derby as Raghunath Nandi’s men battle for pride at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (Saltlake Stadium) on Tuesday, kick-off 4:30 pm.

Black Panthers returns to the Saltlake Stadium exactly after 4 years as they played their last match at this iconic venue on September 11, 2014 against Sports Authority of India.

Mohammedan SC are at sixth position on the Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ log with 13 points from 7 matches. Even if mathematically Mohammedan SC are still within their rights to hold out hopes of a miraculous late surge to success, subconsciously they know this is now a near impossible task. As a result, it will be only natural if there is not the same motivation to succeed tomorrow as there might have been in their previous matches.

However, Black Panthers technical director believes there is plenty to play for and strictly advised his players to concentrate on the task at hand, as they are keen to present a good account of themselves in remaining matches.

“The league is not over yet and we are taking the game very seriously. There is pride to be played for,” said Nandi. “We have to make our supporters happy by winning this game against East Bengal.”

On the other hand, East Bengal’s title chase faltered after they lost 2-1 against Peerless in their last encounter. Now Subhash Bhowmick’s charges must win their remaining two matches while at the same time hoping that Mohun Bagan drop points.

Although Mohammedan SC won their last match 2-1 against West Bengal Police but Nandi feels meeting a wounded East Bengal is not going to be easy.

“We are playing a tough side in East Bengal. It’s a difficult moment for them because they lost their last match. But they are more than capable of a comeback. We have to put up some good work and make sure we take care of their strengths.”

“Preparations for the game have gone quite well. The victory against West Bengal Police did a lot of good for our confidence. The performance has been good; we just need to work on few aspects. There are no favourites once the match kicks-off and the better team will win eventually,” he added.

Mohammedan SC, going into the match, will rely on Princewill Emeka to lead the line. The former Neorca FC marksman is slowly regaining his form, having scored thrice in last three matches.

Princewill’s battle with East Bengal’s Costa Rican defender Johnny Acosta will be a key to the outcome, and the Nigerian has ensured they have nothing to fear against Acosta, who played the recently concluded FIFA World Cup in Russia.

“It’s not just about one player. He (Johnny Acosta) played the World Cup and deserves credit for that. But we must remind he was there with a different set-up. He is new to Indian football and still needs to prove himself. I don’t think his presence on the field would make any difference as long as we play our own game,” he explained.

With Nandi hoping to persuade Black Panthers hierarchy he has the credentials for the coaching position beyond this campaign, a derby victory is important, not least because it can be the barometer by which most fans measure the fortunes of the club.

Now a days the rivalry don’t not carry the same weight it did years ago, mainly because Black Panthers are no longer the dominating force in local football, however, people should expect fireworks when the two sides clash with pride on the line.

CFL 2018/19: Princewill stars the show as Mohammedan beat Police

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club lifted themselves to fourth on the Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ table with a 2-1 win over West Bengal Police on Thursday.

The performance was a perfect response by Raghu Nandi’s men, who have come under scrutiny after losing against Peerless in their last match.

Princewill Emeka’s (6′ & 37′) brace gave Black Panthers a two-goal lead at half-time before substitute Shaikh Shamim (69′) pulled a goal back for West Bengal Police at Mohammedan Sporting ground.

Going into match, Nandi made the only change to the squad handing first start to winger Sumit Das at the expense of Rahul KP.

Looking to stamp their authority on proceedings, Mohammedan SC had the West Bengal Police defense under all kinds of pressure early on and it didn’t take long for them to break the deadlock as they scored almost instantly in the 6th minute when Princewill controlled Bazie Armand’s cut back from the left flank to slot home from close.

Having scored, Mohammedan SC, backed by their fans pushed more men forward and attacked the rival goal ferociously going close on a few occasions.

West Bengal Police, on the other hand, continued to look shell-shocked and were nearly 2-0 down on after 17 minutes when Dipendu Dowary’s effort from a corner narrowly missed the target.

The goal had to come, however, and Princewill duly converted a penalty in the 37th minute after he was brought down inside the box.

Thereafter, Mohammedan SC continued to dominate proceedings and had a host of chances, but poor finishing in the final third meant the first-half ended 2-0.

Mohammedan SC started the second-half as they did the first and continued to pile on more pressure on West Bengal Police but their attackers‚ especially‚ Princeweill‚ Sumit and Dowary were guilty of failing to convert chances from good scoring positions.

However, as the game progressed West Bengal Police began to control the proceedings with 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, West Bengal Police finally pulled a goal back in the 69th minute through Shamim, in for Surajit Bose in the 62nd minute. The striker headed past Arup Debnath from close off a Seiboi Haokip free-kick.

Thereafter, West Bengal Police tried to push up looking for a squalider in the final quarter, but Mohammedan SC held on for a well-deserved 2-1 win.

Mohammedan SC, who now have 13 points from 7 outings, would take on city-rivals East Bengal on Sunday.

CFL 2018/19: Mohammedan Looking To Add To Police’s Woes

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club will aim to bounce back after suffering a reverse in their last game, as they gear up to take on West Bengal Police in the Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ at Mohammedan Sporting ground on Tuesday, kick-off at 4:30 pm.

Mohammedan SC, who suffered their second defeat against Peerless SC 0-1 in their last match, remains on 10 point from six matches and only a strange and highly unlikely set of results would see them finishing among the top two.

West Bengal Police, on the other hand, are currently rooted to the bottom of the league table with a solitary point from five matches as Black Panthers set their sights on adding to Police’s woes.

In their last match, Mohammedan SC created ample scoring chances, but poor finishing let them down and technical director Raghu Nandi acknowledged that it was his side’s defensive lapse that saw them concede a goal in the first-half.

“The last game against Peerless was a tough one. We had our chances but at the end it was our mistakes that proved costly. I think lapse in concentration at the back cost us the game, however, we have closed the chapter on the previous match and want to focused on the task at hand,” said Nandi.

Nandi hopes his team would not repeat the mistakes tomorrow as anything less than three points against West Bengal Police means their chances of a top three finish considerably lessened.

However, Nandi says he will not be hitting any panic buttons just yet despite his side’s dreadful run of form, however, continues to lament the missed chances and the nature in which they have been conceding goals.

He also maintains that the misfiring in front of goals was “just bad luck” for the team. “My players are working hard and showing commitment, all we need is that bit of luck to score.”

Football Secretary Accuses Referee Pranjal Banerjee Of Bias

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club Football Secretary Sharique Ahmed accused referee Pranjal Banerjee of being biased after they suffered a shock defeat to Peerless SC last evening.

Anthony Wolfe’s 20th-minute goal handed Black Panthers their second loss of the Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ campaign at Mohammedan Sporting ground.

Ahmed has since stated that he did not feel the game was officiated fairly, suggesting that the referee favoured Peerless.

“The referee was an embarrassment. I have to say this, referee made it enormously difficult for the players to play properly,” said Ahmed, making reference to the stop-start nature of the clash, where Banerjee went instinctively to his whistle whenever there was a slight contact.

“A good game is when the game ends and you don’t even know who the referee was. I think if more referees knew that‚ we would probably have better football,” he continued.

He was frustrated with Banerjee, who turned down a penalty shout after a Peerless defender committed handball inside the box which was visible to all but Banerjee.

“Was it a handball? Yes. Was it a penalty? Yes. I saw the replay over and over again. Everyone would agree that it was penalty, but that’s not important. All that is important is what the three or four gentlemen with the whistles think. We never got any decisions for us.”

“We have no problem with the result because Peerless were the better side. All I want Mohammedan Sporting Club to be refereed fairly and I didn’t think we were refereed fairly,” he added.

“We have filed an official complaint to the India Football Association (IFA) and Calcutta Referee’s Association (CRA), and we really hope this type of instances won’t be repeated in the future because rest of the country follows CFL with a lot of anticipation and when they sees officiating like last evening, they laugh at Kolkata football.” Ahmed concluded.

CFL 2018/19: Wolfe Hunts Down Panthers In Their Own Yard

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club failed to garner three vital points in their race to the Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ title as Peerless Sports Club beat them 1-0 on Thursday at Mohammedan Sporting Ground.

Trinidadian World Cupper Anthony Wolfe scored the only goal of the match in the 20th minute to hand the Black Panthers their second defeat of the campaign.

Going into the game, Mohammedan SC technical director Raghu Nandi made the only change to the side by handing start to goalkeeper Arup Debnath in place of injured Priyant Singh.

While the start of the game was delayed by 45 minutes owing to incessant rains and a water-logged pitch, the Black Panthers came out all guns blazing when it finally did.

The thunderous outpour of rain made life difficult for both the teams and both adjusted to playing on a wet surface in the opening minutes, with neither taking the risk of attacking.

However, Mohammedan SC expressed their intent as early as the third minute with Bazie Armand squandering a gilt-edged chance. Having beaten Chika Wali to the ball, the former Minerva Punjab midfielder saw his header attempt fly wide of goal.

Mohammedan SC were applying all the early pressure with Princewill Emeka squandering another chance in the 12th minute. Dipendu Dowary picked out the burly striker from a corner-kick, but despite having lost his marker, he could only manage to direct his attempt wide of goal.

While Mohammedan SC pressed high up, Peerless managed to take the lead against the run of the play at the other end when Wolfe headed past Arup from close range in the 20th minute.

Having conceded, Mohammedan SC began attacking with intensity through Princewill, Dipendu and Rahul KP, but Peerless managed to hold on defending deep as the first-half ended 1-0.

The second-half was a similar story as Mohammedan SC dominated majority of the proceedings looking for the equalizer and almost camped in the rival half. While they pushed up front, close chances fell for Princewill but the striker lacked killer finish in the final third.

Nandi brought on new signing Philip Adjah in place of Bazie in the 64th minute as the Black Panthers pushed for the equalizer.

Mohammedan SC though created many chances but failed to equalize, as they failed to stick to their passing game policy. The players seemed to be more keen on playing direct football sending long balls from the centre-line.

Towards the end, Mohammedan SC went agonisingly close through Lancine Toure but the Black Panthers skipper failed to score as the game ended 1-0.

The result meant Mohammedan SC remain on fourth position in the log standings with 10 points from 6 matches.

CFL 2018/19: Mohammedan SC Confident Ahead Of Peerless Tie

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club have expressed confidence they can beat Peerless Sports Club tomorrow at home to continue their steady climb up the Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ table.

Black Panthers technical director Raghu Nandi said his team hope to sustain their surge up the league standings.

Mohammedan SC are fourth on the Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ log with 10 points, while Peerless SC also with 10 points hang on the third spot both after 5 games.

“I am impressed with the commitment of my boys as we are gradually finding our shape. We are slowly getting to know and understand ourselves the more and before long,” said Nandi.

“Yes, we did not start too well as we would have wished but we are steadily getting into our groove. I respect Peerless as a formidable side but we have what it takes to stop them. We are focused to make our fans happy,” he added.

The Black Panthers returned to winning form in the league by defeating Pathachkara Club 3-0 earlier this week, thanks to goals from Tonmoy Ghosh, Princewill Emeka and Dipendu Dowary.

Despite Mohammedan SC’s commanding performance against Pathachakra, the match seem evenly poised as Peerless SC have proven themselves to be a lethal attacking force. With the likes of Ansumana Kromah and Trinidadian World Cupper Anthony Wolfe in the ranks, Peerless SC will always pose a goal threat.

Meanwhile, with Mohammedan SC struggling to break down defenses, they will need more attacking impetus from their midfield. Bazie Armand could be key in this regard, with his wide range of skills and versatility making him the perfect bridge from defense to the forwards.

The Black Panthers will also need Princewill Emeka to return to his his best form. The Nigerian striker will need to up his game and prove to Nandi that he remains a key driving force for the Black Panthers, especially after the arrival of new striker Philip Adjah.

Peerless SC, on the other hand, will be hoping for a better performance compared to their last game, which saw them beaten 3-1 by Calcutta Customs on Monday.

The game will see former Black Panthers mentor Biswajit Bhattachraya go up against his former employers for the first time since leaving the club in May, giving the game an added twist.

The match at Mohammedan Sporting ground kick-off at 4:30 pm.