KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club climbed up to second place in Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ log with a 3-2 win over Mohun Bagan on Thursday, and those who anticipated a keenly contested affair at the Vivekannda Yuba Bharati Krirangan weren’t left disappointed.
Kareem Omolaja Nurain (7′), Tirthankar Sarkar (11′) and John Chidi (61′) were on target for the Black Panthers while Joseba Beitia (25′) and substitute Salva Chamorro (71′) pulled a couple of goals back for Mohun Bagan.
Going into the match Mohammedan SC coach Saheed Ramon made the only change by handing start to Firoj Ali in place of Amir Hossain.
Mohammedan 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 7th minute when Kareem tapped home a Tirthankar Sarkar corner to give Black Panthers an early lead.
Having scored, Mohammedan increased their pressure and attacked the rival goal ferociously going close on a few occasions. Four minutes later, Mohammedan’s pressure yielded another goal when Tirthankar sprinted quite a few yards to beat Mohun Bagan custodian Debjit Majumder with a wonderful shot from the edge of the box.
However, Mohun Bagan never once looked like giving up as the Mariners continued to put pressure on the Mohammedan back-line, and were finally rewarded when Beitia curled in a free-kick from 25 yards out, straight into the top corner.
It proved the confidence boost Mohun Bagan needed, while having the opposite effect on Mohammedan. The chances for Mohun Bagan started flowing, however Mohammedan contained the rampant Mariners until referee blew the half-time whistle with scoreline read 2-1 in Mohammedan’s favour.
Mohun Bagan came out of the sheds fired up to bring themselves back into contention, controlling the ball, winning set pieces and keeping Mohammedan pinned into their own back third.
However, Mohun Bagan weren’t able to keep up the pace and Chidi struck from close range in the 61st minute to consolidate Mohammedan’s lead.
Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan did not lose hope and attacked with pace. The Mariners were rewarded for their efforts in 71st minute through Chamorro who headed home a Beitia free-kick, but it only served to lessen the margin as Mohammedan held for a famous win to the delight of their coach.
“It’s hard for me to put it into words but you could see it in the emotion of my players it means a lot to us,” said Ramon.
Mohammedan, who now have 16 points from 9 matches, will face leaders Peerless in the potential title decider on September 23.