KALYANI: Mohammedan Sporting Club returned to the winning ways in 2018/19 Hero Junior League after beating United Sports Club 3-2 in a highly-entertaining clash at the Kalyani Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
The performance was a perfect response by the Young Panthers, who have come under scrutiny after losing against ATK earlier this week.
William Lalgoulien (19′), Sujay Buduk (49′) and Aftab Ali (72′) were on target for the Young Panthers, while Surajit Ghosh (31′) and Akash Das (55′) scored for United SC.
Looking to stamp their authority on proceedings, the Young Panthers had the United SC defence under all kinds of pressure early on and they could have scored twice in the opening ten minutes, were it not for a lack of composure in front of goal by Mithunendu Mondal and some excellent goalkeeping from Abhijit Saren.
Nonetheless, Mohammedan’s blistering start was to pay dividends in the 19th minute when Arghya Sarkar’s excellent long pass sent William through on goal and he scored to give his side the lead.
United SC, though, grafted their way back around the half hour mark through Surajit. The striker turned inside the box to slot past Mohammedan goalkeeper Afroz Ahmed in the 31st minute.
From the goal onwards, United SC dominated the proceedings and could have taken the lead in the 35th minute when Subhajit Mandi had a good opportunity to put the hosts into the lead following some great work by Ismail Mondal, but the former’s effort was brilliantly saved by Afroz.
Meanwhile, Mohammedan also gave a good account of themselves in the later stages of the half but United SC made sure they kept things tight and compact as the both teams went into the break locked at 1-1.
The Young Panthers came back rejuvenated following their half-time team talk with coach Murari Kar and they took the lead in the 49th minute after some quality short passing on the right hand side of the park, saw the ball eventually threaded to Sujay who fired the ball with his right foot into the back of the goal.
However, the hosts kept pressing and were rewarded with an equaliser in the 55th minute, when from a free-kick on the left, Akash Das’ glancing header found the perfect angle at the left hand post, to beat Afroz.
Nonetheless, the parity was only restored only till the 72nd minute as the visitors piled pressure on the hosts and Aftab made it 3-2 to Mohammedan with a powerful first-time shot.
United SC, meanwhile, kept on pushing for an unlikely equaliser, but with Mohammedan SC content to sit back and defend, it was always going to be a tough ask, though substitute Bishal Mondal did come close in the dying minutes, only for Afroz to block at his feet.
Mohammedan, who now have 9 points from 4 matches, will face NBP Rainbow AC on April 17, 2019 at Gayeshpur Stadium.