KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club failed to qualify for the final round of 2018/19 Hero Junior League after playing out a goalless draw with United Sports Club in their last Kolkata Zonal Round Group B fixture on Monday.
After ATK defeated Keshab Uma Charitable Trust Football Academy (KUCTFA) earlier this morning, Mohammedan needed to win their match at any cost to qualify for the final round, but the Young Panthers could only manage a draw at home against United SC which left Mohammedan and ATK tied on 17 points, but the latter made it to the final round thanks to their better head-to-head record over Mohammedan.
The teams traded a multitude of chances through the first-half, though there were a few which stood out as great opportunities to take the lead.
In the 14th minutes Mohammedan’s Sujay Buduk played a great ball into the penalty area to find a late run from Srimanta Kisku, but the midfielder’s flicked header flashed over the crossbar, much to United SC goalkeeper Manasa Manna’s relief.
Midway through the first-half, at the other end of the field, Mohammedan custodian Afroz Ahmed completely missed a cross from Jeet Nandi and Akash Das reacted well to control the unexpected ball, but then stabbed a shot wide of the target from just a few meters out.
Mohammedan midfielder Sany Mondal then hit the woodwork twice – in the 34th and 36th minutes – as he rattled the crossbar with a long-range effort, before redirecting a low cross from William Lalgoulien onto the base of the far post.
The Young Panthers continued to pile on the pressure early in the second-half and United SC needed goalkeeper Manasa Manna to make a finger-tip save to keep out a deft chip from Sujay in the 51st minute.
Mohammedan had a major scare in the 67th minute when Afroz allowed a tame effort from Soheyur Rahaman to slip through his fingers – luckily for the ‘keeper the ball trickled just wide of the target.
The remainder of the match was a frustrating time for Mohammedan, who dominated play but were unable to find a way through United SC’s resilient defence. Even the introduction of Nabakumar Santra and Dip Hazra off the bench didn’t help the hosts find the breakthrough.