KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club went level on points with Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ leaders Peerless SC following a 3-1 win over Kalighat Milan Sangha in a league meeting at Mohammedan Sporting Ground on Saturday afternoon.
The big win was powered by Arthur Kouassi’s brace. The Ivorian was well supported by Vanlalbiaa Chhangte, who not only expertly operated from the right but also contributed with a goal and assist.
On the back of some vocal local support the Black Panthers looked dangerous from the outset and took the lead as early as the second minute through Kouassi, who rounded Kalighat MS goalkeeper Souvik Santra to slot from close range.
Encouraged by their start, Saheed Ramon’s charges piled on the pressure only to be denied by Souvik, who produced a string of brilliant saves to keep his side in the match.
That’s not to say Kalighat MS didn’t have their chances. There were several occasions when they broke past the Mohammedan SC back-line and threatened 1v1 with goalkeeper Subham Roy, however were failed to be as lethal as they needed to be in front of goal.
Inevitably, failing to convert their chances came back to haunt Kalighat MS as Mohammedan SC doubled their lead in the 37th minute when Styam Sharma fed Vanlalbiaa, who easily outpaced Rahul Jaiswal and passed to the unmarked Kouassi, who calmly slotted home.
Mohammedan SC’s spirits were lifted by the goal and they played out the final moments of the first-half with a lot of energy, which they brought with them when they returned from the break.
The Black Panthers continued with that momentum as they came out for the second-half and forced Souvik into making a number of goal-denying saves.
Nonetheless, the lack of finishing in the attacking third and outstanding defending from Kalighat MS meant Mohammedan SC could not find a goal as reward for their early dominance.
Despite a wave of attacks by the Black Panthers, Kalighat MS have kept their shape and structure to limit the damage before Alexander Kouame struck from the spot in stoppage time following Prosenjit Paul’s handball inside the box.
As the clock counted down, Kalighat MS threw everything they had to get back into the game forcing a number of saves from Subham, however, the Black Panthers struck again in deadly fashion, courtesy Vanlalbiaa, who scored from John Chidi’s pass to put the result beyond any doubt.
Three points were enough for the Black Panthers to go level on points with log leaders Peerless SC, but trail to an inferior goal-difference.