BSF shootout Mohammedan to crown I-Day Cup champions

NAGAON ASSAM: BSF Jalandhar clinched the title in the 70th Independence Day Cup beating Mohammedan Sporting 4-3 in a penalty shootout following a thrilling 1-1 draw on Saturday.

Mohammedan took the lead through Charles Atcha in the 20th minute before Sadam Hussain equalized for BSF in the 43rd minute.

BSF attempted to make an early mark on the match with a neat Ramakanta Hembram chip for Jitinder Rawat in the first minute signalling their intentions.

However, as the match commenced Mohammedan slowly imposed their style on the match, slowing it in the midfield and then attacking into the final third at pace.

Having missed some half chances till the 20th minute mark Mohammedan broke the deadlock through Charles who scored from Philip Adjah’s pass.

Black Panthers then took control of the match. The Kolkata outfit probably should have scored a couple more goals before the break, but their finishing let them down.

Mohammedan looked dangerous every time they pushed forward and Sumit Ghosh tried to curl the ball into the top corner but BSF goalkeeper Harpreet Singh produced a fine save to deny the attacker in the 39th minute.

While Mohammedan pushed high up BSF managed to restore the parity against the run of the play as Sadam took advantage of a defensive error to beat Mohammedan custodian Priyant Singh from close range in the 43rd minute as the both teams went into the breather with scores locked 1-1.

BSF came back into the second-half with more purpose and after a couple of changes early on they started to look more threatening out wide.

Ramakanta had the best opportunity in the opening minutes of the second-half when his free-kick was tipped over by Priyant.

Although BSF dominated possession in the second-half they struggled to get near enough to their opponents goal to really trouble them, managing just two shots in 45 minutes.

But it was hardly much better at the other end with Mohammedan restricted to just three attempts on goal themselves.

Meanwhile, Mohammedan was to deal with a blow after 74 minutes when Priyant injured himself and had to leave the field paving way to Sourav Chakraborty, who made his first appearance of the season.

Despite the best efforts of both sides it seemed goals weren’t on the agenda for the evening as they went through regulation time with scores locked 1-1 and the match headed to directly to a penalty shootout.

It was nail-biting stuff as the players went through the motions of a penalty shootout taking the crowd packed into the stands at Nurul Amin Stadium on the roller-coaster ride right alongside them.

In the end it seems experience paid off with the BSF holding their nerve to slot four goals to Mohammedan’s three.

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