Mohammedan Sporting Club Mourn Shakil Ahmed Passing

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club are in a state of mourning following the passing of former Black Panthers goalkeeper Shakil Ahmed after battling a prolonged illness in Gaya, Bihar. He was 76.

Ahmed Joined Mohammedan Sporting In 1965. He was part of the Mohammedan Sporting team that became Calcutta Football League champions in 1967 after long gap. His good performance in DCM Trophy in Delhi helped him to represent Indian combined university team against HanJian University of South Korea who were twice DCM Trophy champions.

During off seasons he visited his home town Gaya and helped the local teams like power house, police and transport to horn and improve their skills. In 1970 due to some personal reasons he decided to leave Mohammedan Sporting and joined Burnpur Steel Club.

“I have received the devastating news of Shakil Ahmed’s passing,” laments Mohammedan Sporting Club General Manager Sk. Wasim Akram. “I am still reeling from the shock of hearing this sad news.”

“Shakil Ahmed may be gone but he will never be forgotten. His memory will linger on in the hearts and minds of the Mohammedan Sporting Club faithfuls.” he further added.

He was a crowd puller and star attraction for the soccer loving people. The fans were charmed with his tall and handsome personality, people used to travel 100s of kilometers to have a glimpse of Ahmed’s magical and astonishing display of goalkeeping.

Mohammedan Sporting Club Mourn Abdul Latif Passing

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club are in a state of mourning following the passing of former Black Panthers midfielder and coach Abdul Latif on Monday after battling a prolonged illness in Guwahati. He was 73.

Born in Hyderabad in 1946 Latif can play on both wings as well as central midfield played for Mohammedan Sporting Club from 1963 to 1967 and later took over as coach.

Latif was part of the Indian football team that won the bronze-medal in 1970 Bangkok Asian Games. He was also represented India in Asia Cup Qualifier in 1968 in Myanmar and Merdeka Cup in 1969 in Kuala Lumpur.

“I have received the devastating news of Abdul Latif’s passing,” laments Mohammedan Sporting Club official Belal Ahmed Khan. “I am still reeling from the shock of hearing this sad news.”

“Abdul Latif may be gone but he will never be forgotten. His memory will linger on in the hearts and minds of the Mohammedan Sporting Club faithfuls.” he further added.

Latif began his career at State Bank of Hyderabad before he moved over to Kolkata where he played for Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting Club. He also played for HAL Bangalore.

After retirement Latif settled in Guwahati and began his career as a coach, under his tutelage Assam won the junior and sub-junior national championships. He also coached Mohammedan Sporting Club from 1978 to 1980.

Mohammedan Sporting Club flag will be lowered to half-mast tomorrow to mark the day of mourning.

A Message From The Black Panthers

We acknowledge the disappointment shared by all regarding Black Panthers’ I-League 2nd Division games, which have unfortunately been postponed. 

There’s nothing better than supporting or representing Mohammedan Sporting Club, and playing the game we all love – football.

However, you don’t need us to tell you COVID-19 is throwing new challenges at us everyday, and it’s putting strain on us all. These are difficult and unprecedented times, where we must all come together and support one another. 

In this uncertain time of the Coronavirus outbreak, we are urging Mohammedan Sporting Club supporters to take care and observe all the prescribed precautionary measures to avoid contracting and spreading of the pandemic.

During this period, we discourage Mohammedan Sporting Club supporters from gathering and holding any meetings. This is in accordance with the statement issued on 15 March by the Government of West Bengal on measures to combat COVID-19 pandemic.

The wellbeing of the supporters and Indians is of great concern to us at this critical time. We urge the supporters to follow government guidelines regarding hygiene to ensure the well being of everybody. All of us have to do whatever we can to protect one another. We trust that soon this will pass, and everything will be back to normal.

We wish all those in the line of duty during this time lots strength and good health as they will be providing essential services to the citizens.

While there are no live Black Panthers games coming up, we are working hard to make sure we stay as connected as possible with you, our fans.

Thank you for supporting us, and let’s continue this journey together, as one.

#JaanJaanMohammedan

Mohammedan Sporting Club Mourn P.K. Banerjee Passing

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club are in a state of mourning following the passing of former Black Panthers Technical Director Pradip Kumar Banerjee on Friday after battling a prolonged illness. He was 83.

It is regrettable news to receive especially in this time when we are in distress due to the Coronavirus pandemic that is currently creeping the world. 

The 1962 Jakarta Asian Games gold-medallist was suffering from respiratory problems due to pneumonia.

“I have received the devastating news of Pradip Sir’s passing,” laments Mohammedan Sporting Club General Manager SK. Wasim Akram. “I am still reeling from the shock of hearing this sad news.”

“Pradip Sir may be gone but he will never be forgotten. His memory will linger on in the hearts and minds of the Mohammedan Sporting Club faithfuls.” he further added.

Banerjee was Black Panthers’ Technical Director during their maiden National Football League campaign in 2003/04.

Born on June 23, 1936 in Moynaguri, Banerjee scored 65 international goals in 84 appearances for the Indian national team.

Besides winning the gold medal at the Asian Games in 1962, Banerjee led India in the 1960 Rome Olympics. Before that, he represented India in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

Banerjee’s contribution to Indian football was duly recognised by the world governing body FIFA that awarded him the Centennial Order of Merit in 2004.

Black Panthers Matches Cancelled

The ongoing Coronavirus situation has forced the cancellation of upcoming Hero 2nd Division League Group B matches for the Black Panthers against Hyderabad FC Reserves and Bhawanipore FC.

In the interest of public safety following the global pandemic of the COVID-19 VIRUS (Coronavirus), the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has taken a decision to postpone all the I-League, I-League 2nd Division, Youth Leagues, Golden Baby Leagues, as well as, National Competitions from March 15, 2020 onwards.

Mohammedan Sporting Club was due to host their opponents respectively on March 17 and March 25 at Kalyani Stadium and while the overall health risk in Kolkata remains low, the volatile situation could seriously effect players.

Mohammedan Sporting Club Football Committee Chairman Mr. Dipendu Biswas said it was important to ensure the ongoing safety of players, staff and fans.

“Our people’s well being is at the centre of all decision making, and we’ll continue to be guided and supported by the West Bengal Government advice and All India Football Federation experts to keep our whole team safe,” he said.

“We are obviously disappointed but we believe this is the right outcome given the situation and risks attached. We are in solidarity with those who are affected by the outbreak. We understands some supporters may be disappointed; however, given the government’s latest advice on social distancing, we feel it is our duty to take decisive action to protect our players, staff and supporters. We encourage everyone to exercise care and take the necessary precautionary measures to limit the spread of the Coronavirus as per the guidelines,” Biswas added.

Mohammedan Ride On Chidi Hattrick To Beat Blues’ Reserves

BENGALURU: Mohammedan Sporting Club eased past Bengaluru FC Reserves 3-1 in their Group B fixture of the 2019/20 Hero 2nd Division League at Bangalore Football Stadium on Tursday.

John Chidi (41′, 75′ & 88′) scored a hat-trick for Mohammedan while Biswa Kumar Darjee (PG – 74′) scored the only goal for the hosts.

Going into the match Mohammedan coach Saheed Ramon made three changes to side by handing starts to Shafiul Rahman, who was suspended against Chennaiyin, Satyam Sharma and Sanjib Ghosh at the expenses of Sourav Das, Tirthankar Sarkar and Vikas Saini, while skipper Musa Mudde started as centre-back partnering Prosenjit Paul.

Despite some quick and accurate passes from both sets of players, neither side was able to establish dominance over the midfield during the early stages which made for an end-to-end, open encounter.

Mohammedan were pressing high without the ball, trying to put pressure on the Bengaluru defence which looked organised and comfortable to dictate the pace of the match and limit the Mohammedan’s options to counterattacks.

Playing out from the back, Black Panthers were looking to connect with target-man John Chidi but Jagdeep Singh, at the centre of Bengaluru defence, had little trouble defusing the searching long balls and crosses aimed at the forward.

By midway through the first period Bengaluru were piling on the pressure. Bekay Oram and Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha led Bengaluru’s offensive efforts but like their opponents, failed to be as lethal as they needed to be in front of goal.

Inevitably, failing to convert their chances came back to haunt Bengaluru as Black Panthers took the lead in the 41st minute minute with Chidi smashing home to punish some hesitant defending.

Mohammedan’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.

Going into the second-half, Black Panthers continued to apply pressure and made some decent runs forward. Bengaluru, however, are not a side to give up lightly and despite trailing 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 meant Bengaluru could not find a goal as reward for their early dominance.

However, an unrelenting Bengaluru side kept the pressure on their opponents and eventually managed to restore the parity in the 74th minute when Biswa converted from the spot after Hira Mondal tackled Oram inside the box.

Nonetheless, Bengaluru’s joy was short-lived as Mohammedan regained their lead in the very next minute when Chidi reached on the end of a long ball from the deep and calmly put the ball past Bengaluru custodian Aditya Patra.

Eight minutes later Mohammedan got a penalty of their own when Johnson Singh committed handball inside the box, however, substitute Vikas Saini wasted a golden opportunity to put the game to bed by blasting his penalty conversion attempt over the crossbar.

But luckily for the Black Panthers, Chidi was at the right place again just minutes later to burst the net with a well-struck drive to complete his hat-trick.

Following this win, Mohammedan remained on the top of the Group B with 12 points from 6 matches and will host Hyderabad FC Reserves next on March 17 at Kalyani Stadium.

Mohammedan Search For Spark In Bengaluru

BENGALURU: Things tend to get harder before they get better. With this motivating axiom in mind Mohammedan Sporting Club will continue their search for the spark that will reignite their 2019/20 Hero 2nd Division League campaign.

The Black Panthers will face Bengaluru FC Reserves at the Bangalore Football Stadium in Thursday, kick-off 3:30 PM.

Everything seemed like going in favour till the disastrous tour of South India where Mohammedan lost successive matches against Hyderabad and Chennaiyin. Coach Saheed Ramon says he will not be hitting any panic buttons just yet but insists the team must shape up and start getting results as things might get tougher for them if they drop points in any of their remaining four fixtures.

“This is a game we have to win at all costs. We are here only for three points, nothing else,” the Nigerian mentor said.

Ramon knows Mohammedan will have a tough test on their hands, both in trying to overcome Bengaluru on the field and in bearing the weight of expectation from the Black Panthers faithful.

“We need to rectify our past mistakes and close some loopholes which have been costing us dearly. We will start the match with a belief that we can win the game,” he continued.

“We had our team talk at training and players are more determined than ever. We have beaten them once before, so this is a chance to do it again. Our boys are ready, we made them aware of what to expect. We want to stay true to ourselves by playing our best football. We pace ourselves and we know what we are capable of doing.” he added.

The gaffer 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.”

The match will be played on an artificial turf, something which the Black Panthers are not accustomed to, but Ramon is quite confident his players can deliver and play their brand of football on a different type of pitch.

“It’s a bit difficult getting used to the fast pace of it, how the ball skids off the surface is obviously different from playing on natural grass but we have to adapt to different circumstances,” explained Ramon.

On the playing front, Ramon is happy to welcome back Shafiul Rahman. The wing back returns from suspension and would give the side more stability at the back.

Mohammedan Lose Lead And Match Against Chennaiyin

CHENNAI: Chennaiyin FC Reserves completed a comeback to beat Mohammedan Sporting Club despite a good effort in the first-half by the Black Panthers, in their Group B clash of the 2019/20 Hero 2nd Division League at the SSN College Ground in Mahabalipuram, Chennai on Monday.

A stoppage time brace by Senthamizhi S (90+3′ & 90+5′) and Balkar Singh (65′) secured full three points for Chennaiyin after Mohammedan had taken the lead through Vanlalbiaa Chhangte (19′).

Going into the match Mohammedan technical director Dipendu Biswas made two changes to side by handing starts to Sourav Das and Firoj Ali at the expenses of an suspended Shafiul Rahman and Sanjib Ghosh.

Mohammedan didn’t get off the mark as quickly as they might have hoped with Chennaiyin proving strong tactically, setting up a deep block with pace up front for the counter attack.

Nonetheless, Mohammedan started to find their place in the match looking like the more organised, more dominant side as they enjoyed an majority of possession.

And it was no surprise when the Black Panthers took the lead in the 19th minute though Vanlalbiaa after John Chidi played a square pass across to the Mizo winger and he reacted to Chennaiyin goalkeeper Tamal Naskar sprinting out to him by chipping the ball over his head and into the net in typically calm fashion.

From the goal onwards, Mohammedan dominated the proceedings, but poor decision-making let them down in the final third which saw the Black Panthers went into the breather with only a solitary goal lead.

Following the pause for half-time Chennaiyin came straight out of the blocks controlling the ball, winning set pieces and keeping Mohammedan pinned into their own back third.

The constant attacking by Santosh Kashyap’s men eventually wore down the Mohammedan defence to the point where a heavy touch allowed Balkar to steal possession and slot the ball past Mohammedan custodian Priyant Singh to restore the parity for the locals in the 65th minute.

That goal was what Chennaiyin needed as it gave them confidence against a side which had been running rings around them. With a couple of personnel changes, the locals started looking more and more competitive forcing Priyant and his back-line to work a little harder than they’d needed to in the first period.

Although Mohammedan had most of the possession as the game wore on, 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 as Chennaiyin intelligently and stubbornly defended their area.

And with the visitors pressing forward, their could always be the chance the other way, materialising when Senthamizhi sored two goals in just two minutes to ensure full three points for Chennaiyin in stoppage time.

Despite successive defeats the Black Panthers still leading the log in Group B with 9 points from 5 matches and will travel to Bengaluru tomorrow to face Bengaluru FC Reserves on Thursday.

MSC XI: Priyant Singh, Sourav Das, Prosenjit Paul, Vikas Saini, Hira Mondal, Tirthankar Sarkar (Satyam Sharma – 87′), Musa Mudde, Firoj Ali, Vanlalbiaa Chhangte, Jiten Murmu, John Chidi

Mohammedan Aim To Bounce Back After Shock Defeat

CHENNAI: Mohammedan Sporting Club will hope that the loss against Hyderabad FC Reserves is water under the bridge when facing Chennaiyin FC Reserves in their Group B clash of the 2019/20 Hero 2nd Division League at the SSN College Ground in Mahabalipuram, Chennai, kick-off 3:30 PM.

The Black Panthers saw their winning streak cut short to three games when they were beaten 2-1 by Hyderabad last week.

Despite his disappointment with the result, Mohammedan SC technical director Dipendu Biswas is optimistic that his side will get their rhythm back that saw them winning their first three matches with ease.

“The scoreline was not a true reflection of the game. The difference was that our opponents took their chances and we didn’t,” he said.

It’s a match where Biswas will obviously be desperate to get a reaction from his men, but has admitted he faces a tough task to lift the battered morale of his players.

“It’s never feels good when you lose a match, but we still have a lot of work to do.” Biswas said. “Even in the dressing room we are being realistic because there are still many matches to play and many points to play for. We need to remind players that it’s not the end of the world.”

The Black Panthers illustrated a team on a mission as Biswas took his charges through their pre-match training session. The spirit in the team signaled much intent and purpose ahead of a tough battle that’s anticipated against Chennaiyin.

“We are facing another tough encounter,” admitted Biswas. “This time of the season is unpredictable. Everyone is looking to collect points and this match won’t be an exception. But we are prepared and ready to do the battle.”

On the team news front, Black Panthers will be missing right-back Shafiul Rahman who was shown a straight red card against Hyderabad and Sourav Das is likely to replace him in the starting lineup.

With the weather forecast suggesting that it will be around 36°C when the Black Panthers kickoff against Chennaiyin, Biswas insists that they’ve made plans to adapt in the blistering heat of the Tamil Nadu capital.

“If it’s very hot, we have to think about the game-plan. To start with, we have to manage hydration and nutrition before the game. We have been speaking a lot about that. We have been training at match time now for the last few days to get accustomed to the conditions,” explained Biswas.

The Black Panthers have beaten Chennaiyin 4-0 in the corresponding fixture at Kalyani Stadium last month.

10-Men Mohammedan Go Down Fighting Against Hyderabad Reserves

HYDERABAD: Mohammedan Sporting Club, despite playing with 10-men, put on a valiant effort but end of the day it was not enough as Hyderbad FC Reserves walked out victorious 2-1 in their Hero 2nd Division League encounter on Wednesday at the GMC Balayogi Athletics Stadium in Gachibowli, Hyderabad.

After a scoreless first-half, substitute Abhishek Halder (50′) put Hyderbad ahead before Tirthankar Sarkar (71′) equalised for Mohammedan SC. Nonetheless, Kynsailang Khongsit (89′) late strike handed Hyderabad full three points.

Mohammedan SC looked sharp from the outset pressing high and controlling possession with their quick and accurate passing game inside Hyderabad’s half.

Vanlalbiaa Chhangte was particularly impressive both on the wing and inside the box as the Panthers have set up camp in front of their opponents’ goal reducing Hyderabad’s options to a few counter attacking attempts.

Albeit displaying plenty of technical ability with eye-catching combination plays the Mohammedan SC strikers were guilty of straying offside on several occasions.

Hyderbad looked to catch Mohammedan SC on the counter-attack, but poor finishing proved to be their downfall as they wasted a number of good opportunities to break the deadlock.

While Hyderabad laboured in search of their feet, Mohammedan SC established a comfortable rhythm whenever they found themselves in possession making it tough for their opponents to impose their game.

It was a positive and spirited performance of Mohammedan SC in the first-half, which fully deserved at least one goal. Half-time, however, arrived with the score remaining goalless.

Following a scoreless opening half which failed to produce a clear goal-scoring opportunity, the hosts showed far more urgency and took the lead in the 50th minute when Abhishek made a smart run in behind the Mohammedan SC back four to slot past a helpless Priyant Singh from close range.

While the goal buoyed Hyderabad to continue pushing high into the Mohammedan SC final third, the early wake-up knocked their opponents into action as Mohammedan SC restored the parity in the 71st minute when Tirthankar Sarkar curled a 25-yard free kick into the top corner of Vishal’s net.

The equalizer signalled a lift in intensity from the Black Panthers, who made several decent attacks with Chhangte, Chidi and Sanjib testing Vishal, however, things took a unexpected turn for the Black Panthers when Shafiul Rahman got a straight red in the 73rd minute after he fouled Jacob Vanlalhimpuia from behind.

Thereafter, Hyderabad used their numerical advantage to launch relentless attack and the number of shots they had increased however Priyant covered his area well to keep some stunning strikes at bay.

However despite his best efforts Priyant could not hold Hyderabad’s advances off forever as Khongsit head home from close range with only one minute on the clock.

To their credit Mohammedan SC fought till the end and hit the crossbar before forcing a last-ditch goal-line clearance in added time, but the hosts survived to grab 3 points to the delight of their coach.

Despite the loss the Black Panthers still leading the Group B log with 9 points from 4 matches and will travel to Chennai to face Chennaiyin FC Reserves next on March 2, 2020.