Subrata Bhattacharya Demands Immediate Response After Opening Day Loss

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club coach Subrata Bhattacharya has acknowledged that his side were not on par with Mohun Bagan following their 2-0 defeat in 2019 Durand Cup opener on Friday at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan.

The Black Panthers were beaten after a convincing display from The Mariners, who created the greater chances and looked threatening each time they poured forward, and Bhattacharya admits his side were a level below their counterparts in their on-field display.

“They had better energy and better intentions – I think we were a yard away from what they were doing,” he said after the game. “Each time we got the ball we lost it, and they were faster on transitions. When we regained possession, we were not as swift or as quick.”

Bhattacharya noted that set-pieces, from which both of the game’s goals were scored, are a vital component of the game, and hopes his side will be able to bounce back quickly from the loss.

“We just need to go back and re-think what happened today. I believe in the group and I know that they will pick themselves up and respond from this defeat,” he added.

Durand Cup 2019: Mohun Bagan Soar Past Mohammedan In Opener

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club went down 2-0 against Mohun Bagan in the 2019 Durand Cup opener on Friday at Vivekananda Yubabharati Krirangan in Kolkata.

Mohun Bagan dominated the game from gun to tape and should have won by a bigger margin, but will leave satisfied with three precious points.

Spanish striker Salva Chamorro (2′ and 23′) scored twice in the first-half to hand Mohun Bagan crucial three points.

Mohun Bagan were the better side in the opening exchanges and they managed to grab an early goal through Chamorro, who beat Mohammedan custodian Subham Roy with a glancing header from Joseba Beitia’s free-kick two minutes into the game.

From that goal onwards, Mohun Bagan dominated the proceedings, but poor decision-making let them down in the final third.

Mohammedan, on the other hand, were forced to make a change in the 13th minute when Hira Mondal was stretchered off and his place taken by Asif Ali Molla on the right side of defense.

The Mariners were all over Mohammedan and asking more and more questions, and despite his best efforts Subham could not hold Mohun Bagan off forever and as the clock headed into the 23rd minute mark Ashutosh Mehta sent a curling cross from the right that found Chamorro’s header that eluded Subham to double The Mariners lead.

Mohun Bagan continued their dominance and should have been three up after 35 minutes when Ashutosh swung in a cross from the right and Chamorro climbed above Mohammedan defenders to meet the ball but couldn’t direct the header on goal.

Mohammedan who looked well out of their depth throughout the first-half had their only crack on the goal in the 45th minute when Musa Mudde won a ball in the midfield and found Arthur Kouassi, who beat the offside trap and put in a diving header on goal, but Shilton Paul produced in a string punch to the left to keep the ball from going in.

That proved to be the the last meaningful passage of play as the referee blew for the half-time whistle with Mohun Bagan leading 2-0.

Seeing his midfield being walked over by The Mariners, Mohammedan coach Subrata Bhattacharya made a change, Amir Hossain coming off for Mohammad Amirul three minutes to the break.

Mohun Bagan maintained a total control in the second-half but they took their foot of the pedal as Mohammedan tried to impose themselves on the game but there was no cohesion or belief, even simple passes and crosses were near impossible tasks for The Black Panthers.

Although Amirul an Sovan Sen offered Mohammedan some hope with their darting runs in Mohun Bagan’s final third, all their attempts have been stifled by the well organised Mohun Bagan defense.

Mohun Bagan also got a few times close to getting the third goal and looked dangerous on the set-pieces, but the ball didn’t find the back of the net.

Both Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan will now shift focus to Calcutta Football League as the either scheduled to face Peerless SC and Aryan Club respectively on August 5 and August 7.

Kamran Farooque: Mohammedan Sporting Fears No Team

KOLKATA: Newly appointed Mohammedan Sporting Club skipper Kamran Farooque is looking forward to their 2019 Durand Cup opener against Mohun Bagan at Vivekananda Yubabharati Krirangan on Friday.

Although Black Panthers facing a mountain in Mohun Bagan, who have a rich pedigree in the competition winning it 16 times, Kamran cut a confident figure on Thursday during the official pre-match media briefing.

“We have prepared a strong team for last two months under our coach Subrata Bhattacharya, that can challenge any team. Playing against the biggest sides in the competition is always exciting because that’s where we players really get the opportunity to test ourselves individually and as a collective,” he said.

The young defender has also acknowledged Mohun Bagan’s stature but did not forget to mention that they too are a big team: “Mohun Bagan are a huge team, and we respect them, but make no mistake Mohammedan Sporting is no small team. The best team on the day will win.”

When he was asked weather he has any information about their opponents or not his answer was a straightforward no. However, he later explained: “Since it’s the first match of the season both teams haven’t been exposed that much. It’s not just that we don’t have information about them, it applies on Mohun Bagan as well.”

Although a lot of focus will be paid to Mohun Bagan’s Spanish contingent, Kamran is insistent that his team need only concern themselves with their own performance.

“Are we intimidated by their presence? No. They have two legs and two hands so do we, rest will be taken care on the field. We must focus on our abilities and not think of our opponents. I think it’s more about how we play on the day that determines what result we will achieve.” he concluded.

Durand Cup 2019: Black Panthers Eye Mariners Scalp

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club knows well what awaits them against Mohun Bagan when they cross swords in the 2019 Durand Cup opener on Friday (August 2, 2019) at Vivekananda Yubabharati Krirangan, kick-off 6 PM.

The Black Panthers gaffer Subrata Bhattacharya has steadfastly refused to set targets at the competition but revealed that the potentially explosive clash against Mohun Bagan would be crucial for his charges if they are to make an early statement at world’s third oldest football tournament.

“We have assembled a good team for the tournament. Matches will say whether we could achieve our ambitions or not. We need to have a positive start. The first match is always very important because it will give us confidence to head into the rest of the tournament. We might lack the needed experience in this team, but we have players who believe in themselves and have passion and motivation to achieve some good results. This is a side that can match any side in this tournament,” Bhattacharya told mohammedansportingindia.com on the eve of the clash.

“I think we are well prepared and the atmosphere is positive and players want to give their best. For us the philosophy remains to live a day at a time.” he added.

Newly appointed Black Panthers skipper Kamran Farooque also sound confident: “There are many good players in our team and they have a great potential. We hope they can help us to achieve positive results. We will play against a quality Mohun Bagan team and we need to focus on the duties our coach give us, either in attacking or defending situations.”

This is the perfect test for Mohammedan Sporting to see how far they really are in terms of competing against Kolkata’s biggest giants. For years, Mohammedan Sporting have usually done well against the stronger sides they have come up against, struggling to beat the lesser teams on the city.

Mohammedan Sporting appear to lack potency in attack so they are unlikely to want to get into an open match against an Mohun Bagan team that has dangerous attacking flair with the likes of Salvador Chamorro in their ranks.

Bhattacharya is likely to stick with his cautious approach, being the underdog in this game, although playing on the counter-attack could benefit Black Panthers. Mohammedan Sporting will look to dominate possession and move quickly in the offensive third.

Desmos Athur Kouassi, who banged 6 goals in 7 apperances at 2nd Division League last season, is expected to lead the front-line. The Ivoirian is a crafty dribbler with a high work-rate and is nearly as good at creating chances as he is at scoring, and will have something to fear as the lanky forward can spark a moment of magic out of nowhere.

Subrata Bhattacharya Names Mohammedan Sporting Squad For Durand Cup

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club coach Subrata Bhattacharya has announced his squad to compete in the 129th Durand Cup, commencing from 2 August 2019.

The Durand Cup, world’s third oldest football tournament, takes place in Kolkata for the first time from 2 August to 24 August. Mohammedan Sporting Club have been drawn in Group B where they will face Indian Navy, ATK and Mohun Bagan.

The two-time winners will open their tournament against Mohun Bagan on 2 August in Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, followed by Indian Navy at Mohun Bagan Ground on 10 August. The Black Panthers will return to Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan for their last round-robin match against ATK on 16 August.

THE LIST OF 22-PLAYERS STAYS AS FOLLOWS

GOALKEEPERS: Moniruzzaman Ansari, Subham Roy, Subhranil Bose.

DEFENDERS: Asif Ali Molla, Kamran Farooque, Kareem Omolaja Nurain, Sujit Sadhu, Balwinder Singh, Hira Mondal.

MIDFIELDERS: Tirthankar Sarkar, Satyam Sharma, Musa Mudde, Safiul Rahman, Indrajit Das, Firoj Ali, Vanlalbiaa Chhangte, Sovan Sen, Prosenjit Chakraborty.

FORWARDS: Samsad Ali, Mohammad Amirul, Amir Hossain, Desmos Arthur Kouassi.

Head Coach: Subrata Bhattacharya

Kamran Farooque Named New Mohammedan Captain

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club on Wednesday announced the team’s new captain for the 2019/20 season.

The move to Calcutta Customs for Philip Adjah, who captained Mohammedan Sporting last season seasons, left Black Panthers with no option but to choose a new captain for the new season.

Mohammedan Spoting General Secretary Mohammad Qamaruddin indicated earlier that he wants a captain to be responsible for leading the team on the field this season.

It has now been confirmed that Kamran Farroque will be the new captain, with Satyam Sharma being announced as the vice captain.

The new captain will lead Black Panthers as they begin their season against Mohun Bagan in an Durand Cup clash on Friday at Vivekananda Yubabharati Krirangan.

Antoni Soren feels Black Panthers can advance beyond Durand group phase

KOLKATA: Former Mohammedan Sporting Club midfielder Antoni Soren believes that Black Panthers can progress beyond the group phase at the upcoming 2019 Durand Cup.

Soren — who is best remembered for his memorable performance in the 2013 Durand Cup, as he scored in the final and semifinals, playing a star role in leading Mohammedan Sporting to their first Durand Cup title after 73-years — feels current squad under Subrata Bhattacharya has the potential to advance beyond group stage.

“I am optimistic because Mohammedan Sporting always do well in cup competitions. They also have recorded positive results against teams like East Bengal and Mohun Bagan in recent years,” he indicated.

“Going into the 2013 Durand Cup nobody gave us a chance. We were a inexperience squad. Although there were players like Dipendu Biswas, Ashim Biswas, Tolgay Ozbey, Penn Orji and Luciano Sabrosa, most of the players were playing their first Durand Cup. This year Mohammedan Sporting have similar kind of squad dominated by youth with an exceptional leader like Subrata Bhattacharya, like the one we had in Moshood Bola Abdul Aziz. So I am hopeful for a good result.”

“Mohammedan Sporting should start Duand Cup with an intention to win the tournament. They have what it takes to win it in my view. They just have to come up with a good plan which they can break down into smaller objectives from the group stage to the knockout round. Players should be psychologically and mentally fit going into this tournament. That is very important if they want to advance to the knockout stages,” he explained.

Mohammedan Sporting were pooled alongside Mohun Bagan, Indian Navy and ATK in Group B which is widely considered to be the group of death as it features three Kolkata clubs, who will be playing in their home environment.

“It is a very interesting group with strong teams. Mohun Bagan is the most balanced side in the group, but we must not forget it will be season opener for them as well, and they will have to deal with nearly the same amount of pressure as Mohammedan Sporting do. I don’t know weather ATK will field their first-team or not, but one thing I can surely say that they will pose some serious treat to other teams.”

“There is also Navy and we should not forget about them. They cannot be underestimated. They should be respected as they are a good team,” he warned.

“So, I foresee Mohammedan Sporting reaching the knockout stage, but it won’t be easy because they are in a tough group,” he concluded.

Durand Cup Tickets Go On Sale For Kolkata and Siliguri Matches

Kolkata: The tickets of Durand Cup, which is making a comeback after three years, are priced between Rs 20 and Rs 100 and are available for Kolkata and Siliguri matches.

“Tickets for the 2019 edition of The Durand Cup matches are priced between INR 20-100 and will be available exclusively across BookMyShow’s web and mobile platforms. Fans can book their tickets to the games in Kolkata and Kalyani starting Thursday,” a media statement said.

Mohun Bagan will take on Mohammedan Sporting to kick off the competition on August 2 at the Saltlake Stadium, which will also host the semifinals (August 20) and final (August 24).

Asia’s oldest cup competition will see 16 teams, including six each from I-League and Indian Super League, battle it out across six venues — Saltlake Stadium, Mohun Bagan Ground, East Bengal Ground, Kalyani and Siliguri.

Army Green are the defending champions, having won their maiden title beating NEROCA FC on penalties in the last edition in 2016.

Durand Cup started in 1888 as an Army Cup but was later opened for other clubs as Mohammedan Sporting were the first team from Kolkata to win the title in 1940.

The Big Two of the Maidan, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, are the most successful teams of the competition, winning 16 times each.

Subrata Bhattacharya Remains Optimistic Despite Difficult Durand Cup Draw

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club has been handed a tough group at the 129th Durand Cup after they were drawn to face Mohun Bagan, ATK and Indian Navy in the group stage.

The two-time winners will open their campaign against Mohun Bagan on 2 August in Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, followed by Indian Navy at Mohun Bagan Ground on 10 August. The Black Panthers will return to Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan for their last round-robin match against ATK on 16 August.

Although Mohammedan Sporting has been handed a tough group but coach Subrata Bhattacharya remains optimistic for a good performance from his team.

“I think we judge teams on their names, their history, but you have to get out and beat them. We have to believe in ourselves and I have a lot of confidence in this team. It all falls on how we shall get prepared but I believe we can progress. We still have two weeks to work hard and we will do our best to achieve our goals,” Bhattacharya said.

He also posited that for Mohammedan Sporting to actualize their dream of winning  a third Durand Cup title, all hands must be on the deck as the coaches, players and officials must all be ready to give their all to this mission.

He said, “It is a collective task. We have to recognize the fact that we have good players in our team and we must be ready to give our all. You don’t expect any easy game at this level and we must work hard to ensure we scale through at the end of the day.”

I’m Not Someone Who Looks For An Easy Ride, Says Musa Mudde

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club’s Ugandan midfielder Musa Mudde has arrived in Kolkata to play the upcoming 2019/20 Calcutta Premier Division – A on Tuesday morning.

Known for his dogged displays in the middle of the park, Musa began his career in his native with Simba FC before turning out for the likes of Sofapaka FC (Kenya), Simba SC (Tanzania), AFC Leopards (Kenya) and Bandari FC (Kenya).

Musa last played for Gokulam Kerala FC where he joined ahead of their maiden I-League campaign in 2017, and captained the side in 2018/19 I-League.

“The club’s history fascinates me. I also wanted a new experience, in a new city. It will be an interesting experience for me.  I’m not someone who looks for an easy ride,” Musa told mohammedansportingindia.com.

“Mohammedan have a great dream and I want to make it a reality. The club’s dream is to win the Calcutta Football League and I hope to help them achieve this. I can’t say exactly what Mohammedan require to win the CFL. That’s something I’ll begin to work out from now onwards. We need to believe we can win the CFL if we are to do it. We will give it our best shot,” he added.