KOKRAJHAR, BODOLAND, ASSAM: Mohammedan Sporting Club booked their place in the semifinals of the 19th Bodoland Martyrs Gold Cup after beating Udalguri-based Daimalu FC 2-1 in the quarterfinal round on Tuesday at KDSA Ground in Bodoland, Assam.
Debasish Pradhan (53′) and Philip Adjah (67′) were on target for Black Panthers before Daimalu FC pulled a goal back in stoppage time though Sukur Singh.
The game lacked any real rhythm in the opening exchanges with both sides guilty of squandering possession too easily, in what was a cagey and somewhat frustrating start to the game.
Mohammedan SC, though, looked the more likely to open the scoring and almost did so in the 8th minute when Charles Atcha forced his way through on the left side of the box only to shot into a defender.
Black Panthers were moving the ball swiftly and crispy using the pace of Adjah and Safiul Rahman to penetrating the defense of Daimalu FC.
Meanwhile, Daimalu FC had their first chance of the encounter in the 16th minute when they were awarded a free-kick just outside the box, however, it was expertly punched away by Laltu Mondal in the Mohammedan SC goal.
Five minutes later, Charles almost pulled Mohammedan SC ahead but his effort cleared the bar.
Mohammedan SC, at the half hour mark, had another chance when the enterprising Satyam Sharma crossed from the right and Adjah shot first time, but straight at the rival custodian.
Thereafter, neither side were able to create any further chances in the first-half with the score deadlocked 0-0 as the teams headed for the change room at the break.
The game burst into life after the interval. Daimalu FC goalkeeper was called into action in the first minute of the second-half and pulled off a stunning safe to deny Satyam.
Black Panthers were all over Daimalu FC and asking more and more questions. Daimalu FC keeper produced another glorious save to keep Raghu Nandy’s charges at bay when he denied Adjah in a one-on-one inside the box, diving full length to stop the ball from going in.
But the pressure eventually told and Mohammedan SC stormed into the lead when Debasish slotted from close range in the 53rd minute after receiving the ball from midfield.
The setback served to awaken Daimalu FC from their slumber and they threw players forward with abandon, in search of an equalizer.
While Daimalu FC pushed for the equalizer they left a lots of gaps in the process, which Mohammedan SC exploited when Adjah got on the score-sheet in the 67th minute.
Nonetheless, Daimalu FC did manage to find a consolation goal in recognition of their efforts as Sukur Singh slotted in stoppage time after a failed clearance by defender Ayan Roy Chowdhury fell for the midfielder.