Category: 2nd Division League

Happy With Win – Saheed Ramon

KOLKATA: “This is the result we wanted,” says Saheed Ramon after seeing through his side winning their first match of the 2019/20 Hero 2nd Division League. “Credit to the entire team. We really worked hard for this win. I am happy with the three points.”

Mohammedan Sporting Club eased past Bhawanipore FC 3-0 on Saturday with Sanjib Ghosh (2nd), John Chidi (26th) and Satyam Sharma (80th) getting on the score-sheet at Kalyani Stadium.

“It is good to play and win with new the players we have introduce,” comments a visibly happy Ramon. “The new players have made a difference and gelling well with the team.”

Though happy with the three points, Ramon believes there is still a lot of work to do. “We had some moments of jitters at the back but recovered and became solid with the progress of the game. When you have collected three points it makes it easy to go back and fix the mistakes. I am happy with the start of the season.” added the Nigerian mentor.

Ramon was forced to alter his plans on the eve of the clash. “Tirthankar Sarkar felt some discomfort during the week,” says Ramon, “The technical team thought he was going to be fine to play but unfortunately the pain persisted. We took a decision to withdraw him and put him on the bench because we didn’t want to risk aggravating the injury.”

The coach also went into the first match of the season without skipper Musa Mudde and he says: “It is a matter of managing the player. I see the matter is receiving interest but everybody at Mohammedan Sporting Club is aware that Musa struggling with his hamstring and we are trying to give him the necessary care to recover. He will have time in the next two weeks to recover and be available for selection in the next match.”

The coach says that they will thoroughly prepare for the next match as it will be Black Panthers’ first home game of the season to be played on February 11, 2020 against Bengaluru FC Reserves.

Black Panthers Dismantle Bhawanipore in 2nd Division League opener

KALYANI: Mohammedan Sporting Club sounded a warning to their remaining 2019/20 Hero 2nd Division League Group B rivals with a comprehensive 3-0 thrashing of Bhawanipore FC on the opening day itself at the Kalyani Stadium.

Nobody was doubting Mohammedan SC’s talent and credentials going into the game, however it’s hard to imagine many could foresee the relentless way they went about their work, from the outset till the final whistle, as they dismantled their opponent.

Goals from debutante Sanjib Ghosh (2nd), John Chidi (26th) and Satyam Sharma (80th) were enough to see off a spirited challenge from Bhawanipore who tested the visitors at times, especially in the second-half.

Mohammedan SC started the match with more purpose as they threw everything they had to impose their will on their opponents during the early exchanges.

And their efforts were soon rewarded in the 2nd minute itself when Sanjib rounded Bhawanipore custodian Arup Debnath to slot home from close range.

Conceding so soon rattled Bhawanipore and it took a fair while for the team to settle into the game as Mohammedan SC controlled the action keeping Bhawanipore contained in their half, and making sure Arup was kept busy.

Bhawanipore, however, didn’t lose focus and on a couple of occasions seemed like they could be on track to equalize. Jagannath Sana threatened Mohammedan SC’s goal several times throughout the first-half, creating some half chances inside the penalty area, but the Mohammedan SC defenders were quick to the ball and made the clearance any time it came near goal.

Inevitably, failing to convert their chances came back to haunt Bhawanipore as they fell even further behind when Vanlalbiaa Chhangte latched onto a long ball behind the defence, beat his marker to pull back to an arriving Chidi who neatly slotted past Arup in the 26th minute.

Mohammedan SC’s spirits were lifted by the goal and they played out the remainder of the first-half with a lot of energy, which they brought with them when they returned from the break.

Going into the second-half the Black Panthers continued to apply pressure and made some decent runs forward. Bhawanipore, however, are not a side to give up lightly and despite trailing by two goals kept the intensity high, and the pressure on their opponents as they battled to find a way back into the match.

Nonetheless, the lack of finishing in the attacking third and outstanding defending from Mohammedan SC meant Bhawanipore could not find a goal as reward for their early dominance.

Bhawanipore continued to show their fighting spirit as they pushed hard to find a goal which would keep them in the match, but between some solid defending and the safe hands of skipper Priyant Singh, meant the attackers were unable to get an edge on their opponent.

Mohammedan SC defence looked comfortable in absorbing Bhawanipore’s attacking pressure, while looking to catch their opponents off-guard on the counter.

As the clock counted down, Bhawanipore threw everything they had to get back into the game forcing a number of saves from Priyant, however Mohammedan SC flexed their scoring muscles once again in the 80th minute when Satyam scored a long ranger to put the result beyond any doubt.

Black Panthers will host Bengaluru FC Reserves next on February 11, 2020 at Kolkata maidan.

Mohammedan SC XI: Priyant Singh (GK), Shafiul Rahman, Prosenjit Paul, Balwinder Singh, Hira Mondal, Vanlalbiaa Chhangte, Firoj Ali, Satyam Sharma (Tirthankar Sarkar), Sanjib Ghosh (Moses Lalrinzuala), Jiten Murmu (Dipendu Dowary), John Chidi.

Priyant Reiterates The Importance of The Collective Game

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club vice-captain Priyant Singh repeated the same statement as technical director Dipendu Biswas before Black Panthers’ first match in 2019/20 Hero 2nd Division League against Bhawanipore FC on Saturday.

Saying that the most important thing is to play a collective block and not focus on individualities. According to Priyant they will attack together and defend together to defeat an aggressive and talented Bhawanipore team.

Priyant doesn’t overestimate his team but he is confident because he knows they are good and they will play with the same commitment they had when they locked horns with Bhawanipore.

“We are a team and we share a common goal. We know our responsibility is to win and bring glory to the club. We had a good time in our preparations with the new players. We have a strong squad of humble and dedicated players. We have mixed well and are all ready for tomorrow.” said Priyant.

“We will play against a quality Bhawanipore team and we need to focus on the duties our coach give us, either in attacking or defending situations,” he added.

Priyant will lead the team against Bhawanipore tomorrow as skipper Musa Mudde is not available for selection due to injury.

Panthers Ready To Roar And Mark Their Territory

KOLKATA: “The first game is key,” said Dipendu Biswas. “We are starting with a clear mindset and that is to gain promotion to the I-League. Our preparations have gone very well. This match will serve to see the implementation of the pre-season preparations.”

Mohammedan Sporting Club are visiting Bhwanipore FC in their 2019/20 2nd Division League opener. Speaking after taking his charges through their pre-match session, an upbeat and optimistic Black Panthers technical director said: “There is not much that you can do in terms of surveillances on the opponents. Bhawanipore have added some new faces in their team. We have done our homework and we gathered intelligence about them, albeit limited because they haven’t been exposed that much.”

The Black Panthers looks to build on their Calcutta Premier Division exploits where they went very close to bagging silverware after 38 years before eventually settling for a fourth-place finish.

Biswas knows that there is a reasonable amount of pressure on his side to deliver a similar result to Calcutta Premier Division, and the former striker has insight into what is required at this level of competition and believes the preparations the team has followed will assist them in achieving their objective. The opening match could be the catalyst that Mohammedan SC need to finally start the league on a high as they are notorious for being slow starters.

“The first match is always hard because there is always some uncertainty. We will approach the game with all the seriousness it deserves,” he said.

For the Black Panthers the preparations have been long and at times arduous, but Biswas believes that is what is necessary if they want to qualify for the I-League.

“We have been training for last two months already and we are ready to go. It’s difficult and challenging as well, the task ahead of us. When you ask: ‘are you going to qualify for the I-League?’, of course it’s easy to say yes, but it’s hard to do it. If we want to qualify we really need to work hard and I believe my boys are doing just that and we will make a difference,” he explained.

Biswas brings a different style of play to the table and he is adamant that he has the players to make this work. Priyant Singh is likely to start the game in goal. Hira Mondal will start at left back while Prosenjit Pal and one of Balwinder Singh or Vikas Saini will start as centre backs. It will be Shafiul Rahman who will start as right back.

Although Musa Mudde and Tirthankar Sarkar are not fit to start, Biswas still has a wealth of options in midfield and it will be interesting to see who the former India skipper eventually picks to start the game. Firoj Ali and Satyam Sharma are likely options in the central midfield positions. The attacking and wing positions will be a tough choice for Biswas who will have to choose between Vanlalbiaa Chhangte, Dipendu Dowary, Sujoy Dutta, Moses Lalrinzuala, Sanjib Ghosh, Mohammad Farid and Shamsad Ali. Jiten Murmu will be a likely starter up front with John Chidi.

“We have a good squad of players to choose the best combination to face United,” commented Biswas. “We have few concerns over Musa and Tirthankar’s fitness, but we will have a very strong team on Saturday. The mood is high in the camp and I think the lads know their responsibilities. As individuals the players have reached a stage where they have a point to prove. That is good for the team.”

The match at Kalyani Stadium will kick-off at 2:30 PM.

We Are Better Prepared – Sharique Ahmed

KOLKATA: “We have done our homework,” remarked Football Secretary Sharique Ahmed. “We have brought in new blood in the team. I am happy with the preparation and think we are better prepared to challenge for the I-League promotion this season.”

Ahmed was speaking at a press conference held at Mohammedan Sporting Club on Wednesday afternoon where he was accompanied by General Secretary Md. Qamaruddin, Asst. General Secretary Dr. Taha Ahmed, Ground Secretary Ghazal Zafar, General Manager Sk. Wasim Akram, Technical Director Dipendu Biswas, Coach Saheed Ramon, Coach Suman Ghosal and Team Manager Belal Khan.

“We have done a lot of work, on and off the pitch,” said Ahmed, three days ahead Black Panthers’ opening fixture, “We have made notable changes to the playing personnel by onboarding a number of new players such as Jiten Murmu, Dipendu Dowary, Vikas Saini and Mohammed Farid. We have also added youngsters from our development structures, including Miraj Ali and Sanjib Ghosh. We continue to appeal for patience with the supporters as the process takes time and needs to done with great care. On and off the field, let’s all be one and unite behind the team.”

Mohammedan SC will open the season with a short trip to the Kalyani to face Bhawanipore FC.

“We worked with the individual players in the past two months to get everyone up to speed,” he added. “We respect Bhawanipore not just because they’ve betean us in CFL but they are a good side. It will be a tough game on Saturday.”

The match is scheduled to take place on Saturday January 25 at Kalyani Stadium. It will kick off at 2:30 PM.

“Our preparations have gone according to plan,” said Dipendu Biswas. “We have a good team, the kind we have not had in a long time. We want to start strong. From the start to the final whistle, we want to start and finish strong in every game we play this season.”

Panthers Return From Camp

KOLKATA: “The preseason camp went well. It gave us an opportunity to refresh our aims and objectives ahead of the 2nd Division League,” reflects coach Saheed Ramon. The Black Panthers have just returned from a pre-season camp held at Digha in East Midnapur, West Bengal.

The team started the camp on the 9th January and wrapped up the camp on Friday, 17th.

“The camp is always good,” continues Ramon. “Our strategy was to get there and integrate the players as a team. And address the questions in terms of the aspects of football that we will apply in the season. We shared many meals and there is no better interaction than in sharing a meal.”

“We remain focused on our aims and mission,” confirms Ramon. “The pre-season is an opportunity to work hard because we plan to fight to gain promotion to I-League. Our aim is to win as many games as possible.”

“The facilities in Digha were perfect for the preparations. We got more than the infrastructure capability. The people were helpful and available to work with us,” added Ramon. “We returned sharper and strengthened.”

Pre-Season Camp Going Well

DIGHA: “I am quite satisfied with how our pre-season camp is going,” said Technical Director Dipendu Biswas after taking the team through their paces on Thursday morning at the beaches of Digha.

“We have been working hard for the past few days and I’m happy with the response from the players,” he added. “It is good that we do not have any serious injuries and some of the guys who were injured during Calcutta Football League are on their way back to full recovery.”

On the new players’ integration into the team, Biswas remarked: “The new guys have been working hard and we believe they will adapt quickly to our system and hit the ground running because we don’t have much time.”

“We have been working on the players’ mental strength and teamwork which will see them communicate better in all departments,” the former striker concluded.

Black Panthers To Enter Residential Traning Camp In Digha

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club is scheduled to start a residential training camp in Digha on Thursday (9th January), as a part of the preparations for the upcoming 2019/20 2nd Division League, starting January 25.

The Team will enter the residential camp on the morrow at Hotel Malancha, New Digha where they will have double sessions under the close guidance of coach Saheed Ramon to fine tune the players ahead of the big games.

“The preparations have been going very well and we will go into camp at Digha to speed up preparations for the 2nd Division League,” team manager Belal Ahmed Khan told before leaving Kolkata this morning.

The initial preparations kicked-off at Mohammedan Sporting Club Ground on December 10, 2019 with physical drills to evaluate fitness levels of players before starting full fledged training.

Philip Adjah’s hat-trick goes in vain as final round berth continues to elude Mohammedan

JAMSHEDPUR: Skipper Philip Adjah Tetteh’s hat-trick went in vain as Mohammedan Sporting Club failed to qualify for the Final Round of 2018/19 Hero 2nd Division League despite winning their last Preliminary Round match 4-2 against Jamshedpur FC Reserves on Friday at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur. 

Going into the match, Mohammedan SC knew they had to win at any cost while at the same time hoping that TRAU FC and Rainbow AC drop points. Though ATK Reserves did them a favour by beating Rainbow AC 2-1, but Princewill Emeka’s late goal shattered Mohammedan SC’s dreams as TRAU edged past Chhinga Veng FC 3-2 to take the second spot in Group C.

Mohammedan SC finish the Preliminary Round campaign on third spot in Group C with 16 points from 10 matches, one shy of TRAU who book their place in the Final Round alongside Chhinga Veng FC (20 points).

Desmos Arthur Kouassi (13′) opened the scoring for Mohammedan SC before Adjah (17′, 28′ & 52′) single-handedly dismantled Jamshedpur. Nonetheless, the hosts did not go down without a fight as they pulled a couple of goals back though Sohrab Akhtar (15′) and Subhankar Sana (58′).

Mohammedan SC were expecting a tough encounter when they hosted Jamshedpur in Kalyani last month and that’s precisely what they got in a high-scoring affair.

Kouassi started it all with a good finish after 13 minutes, Jamshedpur keeper Amrit Gope trying but unable to keep the Ivorian’s strike out. That lead lasted just eight minutes though as Sohrab launched a thunderous long-range shot that had the beating of Mohammedan SC goalkeeper Priyant Singh.

Nonetheless, Mohammedan SC regained their lead in the 17th minute when Adjah picked his spot and fired home from the edge of the penalty area.

It was 3-1 in the 28th minute when Kouassi was hauled down in the box and Adjah converted the penalty to start a period in which Mohammedan SC had Jamshedpur under severe pressure, however, poor decision-making let them down in the final third which saw Raghu Nandy’s charges went into the breather leading 3-1.

Mohammedan SC virtually finished off the game seven minutes after restart as Adjah showed excellent persistence to ride a tackle from a Jamshedpur defender and scuffed his shot into the back of the net for his tenth goal of the campaign.

Nonetheless, Jamshedpur did not lose hope and attacked with pace. The hosts were rewarded for their efforts in 58th minute through Subhankar, but it only served to lessen the margin as Mohammedan SC held for a well-deserved 4-2 win.

Chase for the final round spot goes down to the wire in Group C

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club have a chance to qualify for the final round of 2018/19 Hero 2nd Division League on the final match-day of preliminary round Group C but they will be up against an tricky Jamshedpur FC Reserves on Friday at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur, kick-off 3 pm.

With Chhinga Veng FC (20 points) already booked their place in the final round, three teams in Group C are separated by just one point and Mohammedan SC with 13 points from 9 matches are ranked fourth, owing to an inferior head-to-head record with local-rivals Rainbow AC, who also have the same number of points. TRAU FC are a point above the both Kolkata outfits given they have amassed 14 points in their 9 games so far.

A week ago, the Black Panthers were odds on favourite to make it to the final round following three successive victories. They have scored 13 goals in those three matches and conceded none, however, they faced a massive set back in their previous match when they were beaten 0-2 by Rainbow AC and now have to depend on others to reach the final round.

The Black Panthers will qualify for the final round if and only if they leave the ground with all three points in their last match and other results go their way. Nonetheless, TRAU FC or Rainbow AC’s win will anyway leave the Black Panthers empty-handed irrespective of the result in the Steel City.

If TRAU and Rainbow drop points in their last matches which will be against Chhinga Veng and ATK Reserves respectively, the Black Panthers will be able to seal the final round berth for the first time since 2015/16 season with a win over Jamshedpur.

Should both Mohammedan SC and Rainbow win their games and TRAU lose or draw theirs then Rainbow will go though as they boast a better head to head record over Mohammedan SC.

Meanwhile, TRAU are the only team amongst the three who are not dependent on any other outcome to reach the final round if they secure all three points against Chhinga Veng. They can also get the job done with a draw or even worse given that other two outcomes in Jamshedpur and Kolkata go accordingly.

Nonetheless, should all three teams end their campaign with same points; still Rainbow would make it merry thanks to their better head-to-head records taking all three teams into consideration.

“It will be a tough match. Jamshedpur are a very good side,” claimed Raghunath Nandy, the technical director of Mohammedan SC. “I always tell the players to focus on the match but not on the league table. We prefer to go match by match and it will be same tomorrow. I am not doing any calculation; this is the last game so we have to get three points. Let’s see what happens next. I am only thinking what is under my control.”