KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club began their 2018/19 Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ campaign with 1-0 win over Food Corporation of India (FCI) at the Barasat Stadium on Sunday evening.
In a tight game which could have gone either way, a moment of sheer brilliance by Rahul KP and a clinical finish by Prosenjit Chakraborty in the 80th minute proved the difference after a thrilling 90 minutes.
The Black Panthers dominated possession proceedings in the opening exchanges of the encounter, and looked particularly threatening down the flanks, but were let down by the final ball in the area.
Mohammedan SC had a clear chance in the 12th minute when Prosenjit Chakraborty lost the ball in the midfield but Princewill Emeka’s long range effort could not beat FCI keeper Dhananjay Adhikari.
Dipendu Dowary almost gave Mohammedan SC the lead in the 31st minute when Tonmoy Ghosh’s cross was cleared by FCI defender Amit Chakraborty in the box.
FCI looked to catch Mohammedan SC on the counter-attack, but were unable to find a way through Mohammedan SC’s resilient defense marshaled around skipper Lancine Toure.
In the 37th minute FCI were dealt with a blow when their skipper Deepak Mondal picked up an injury and limped off the field. FCI coach Bikash Panji had to bring Bikash Mullick to replace the veteran defender. The two sides went into the half-time break, deadlocked at 0-0.
The Black Panthers continued to look for an opening goal in the second-half but FCI defenders remained firm at the back. Mohammedan SC technical director Raghu Nandi had to introduce striker Mohammad Amirul with a hope to get a goal sooner than later.
Mohammedan SC could have taken the lead in the 59th minute after Princewill made a great turn before curling the ball but Amirul could not keep his header on target as a great chance went begging.
The Black Panthers opted to bring pacy winger Rahul KP in place of Dipendu Dowary in the 73rd minute to put more pressure on the FCI back-line but the Bikash Panji-coached side defended deep and maintained their shape.
However, Rahul’s pace was too much to handle for FCI as Rahul created the opening goal for the Black Panthers when he received the ball from midfield and delivered a delightful cross to Prosenjit Chakraborty who covered some ground before slotting a left footer home in the 80th minute.
Having taken the lead, Mohammedan SC got a much needed confidence boost and they increased their pressure up front dominating the game entirely. Despite creating numerous scoring opportunities in the final few minutes, once again it was lack of finishing that prevented a bigger scoreline as the game ended 1-0 in Mohammedan SC’s favour.