Mohammedan SC Fall Short In U-13 Youth League Final

KOLKATA: Minerva Punjab FC eased past Mohammedan Sporting Club 3-0 in the final to crown champions in the inaugural U-13 Youth League on Tuesday.

Mohammedan SC more than played their part in an entertaining final, but it was Minerva Punjab’s energy that would light up the occasion and provide a thrilling end to a thoroughly entertaining tournament.

Minerva Punjab who lead 1-0 at the interval scored through Longjam Swami Singh (3rd minute) and Himanshu Jangra (45th and 46th minute) at the Vidyasagar Stadium in Barasat, Kolkata.

Although Minerva Punjab went into the game as hot-favourites, Mohammedan SC began the game in attacking mode and could have taken the lead in the first minute itself. Skipper Sujay Budhuk did well to cut in past a couple of defenders from the left but his powerful drive sailed inches over the horizontal.

While the Young Panthers pressed high up, Minerva Punjab managed to take the lead against the run of the play at the other end. Winger Swami Singh capitalized on a error by Mohammedan SC custodian Sakirul Islam from a header to put his team ahead.

Having conceded early on, Mohammedan SC began attacking with intensity through Mohammed Zeedan, Nabakumar Santra and Sujay, but Minerva Punjab showed character to hold on and at the same time also managed to create chances of their own only to miss with their strikers Tongbram Maheron Singh and Himanshu, as the first half ended 1-0.

The second half was a similar story as Mohammedan SC dominated majority of the proceedings looking for the equalizer and almost camped in the rival half.

Mohammedan SC looked to catch Minerva Punjab on the counter-attack, but poor finishing proved to be their downfall as they wasted a number of good opportunities to level the scoreline.

However, Minerva Punjab ended Mohammedan SC’s hopes of a comeback with back-to-back goals through their skipper Himanshu in the 45th and 46th minute respectively.

Meanwhile, Mohammedan SC at the other end had their best chance of the game when Sujay slid in a teasing low ball for Tapan Soren, who just managed to direct an effort on target, but Minerva Punjab keeper Charles Tongbram had come quickly off his line to make a brave block in the 64th minute.

Minerva Punjab had a golden chance to go further up in the 68th minute when Maheron found himself in space inside the area but his first touch let him down and the opportunity slipped by because of poor technique.

In the additional time, Mohammedan SC went all out for some late goals but Minerva Punjab did well to protect their gains as the match ended 3-0 with Minerva Punjab clinching the title.

Underdogs Mohammedan Aim To Stun Hot Favourites Minerva In U-13 YL Final

KOLKATA: It’s rare for a Mohammedan Sporting Club team to play for the opportunity to win a trophy, but the 127-year-old club will have just that opportunity on Tuesday when they take on Minerva Punjab FC to crown champions in the inaugural U-13 Youth League.

The two sides will clash in the final of the competition to be played at the Vidyasagar Stadium in Barasat, kick-off at 5:00 pm.

Having stunned SAI East Zone 2-0 in the semifinal, the Young Panthers will need to pull off an even greater shock in order to deny the Minervans the trophy, who grounded high-flying Sudeva FC 5-0 to book their place in the finale.

Mohammedan SC like to play counter-attacking football, as they soak up pressure for long periods before launching the ball forward to their speedy attackers upfront. This especially suits midfield mainstay Mohammed Zeedan to a tee, as well as Sujay Budhuk and Nabakumar Santra, all of who use their pace to occupy space behind opponents. It hasn’t been pretty to watch but it has been an effective strategy bringing out the best in their attacking trio even when the performances look disjointed.

We can discuss about Mohmmedan SC’s speed on offense all day long, but the unity and discipline of their backline is somewhat frightening. Led by Irfan Mondal, Wasid Ali, Aftab Ali and Anisur Rahaman, the Young Panthers backline should give Minerva problems throughout the match.

“Tomorrow’s game is extremely important because we want to win and crown our efforts. It will be premature to say how we would approach the match but I can say it will be a good game. Everything is possible on the field and if it needs us to play our best football in the tournament we will.”
Mohammedan SC Head Coach Ananta Kumar Ghosh said.

“We respect Minerva because they are good that is why they made it to the final but we have a good group of players which is ready to get us the win. We have good players with the good qualities and we have to show that in the final. Despite the Minerva team being strong we have what it takes to win and keep the throphy here.”

“We all know that our senior team is struggling to produce results in the recent past so if we can win this one then it will be huge for our fans. We want to do it for them,” added Ghosh.

On the other hand, Minerva’s dominance in the tournament has been unmatched, outscoring opponents by a 19-1 margin. The Anthony Andrews-coached side has based their game on a solid defence that haven’t conceded since their final round opener against BBFS. With only one goal conceded, the Minervas have U-13 Youth League’s meanest defence and relied on the brilliance of Tongbram Maheron Singh up front to make it to the final.

Though Maheron has deservedly taken many of the plaudits in the tournament, Longjam Swami Singh and Himanshu Jangra have often been just as important to many of Minerva’s winning efforts.

The big question is will Minerva try to press the pace right from the start, or sit back looking to capitalize on any Mohammedan SC mistakes. It will be also interesting to see how Minerva will deploy in the defensive half to counter Mohammedan SC’s speed on the counter, which gave SAI fits all night when the Young Panthers stunned them on Sunday night. With all said and done the game will most likely come down to who can control the midfield.

Mohammedan blank SAI to set up Minerva final

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club caused something of an upset with a 2-0 win over SAI East Zone in the second semifinal of the U-13 Youth League at Barasat Stadium on Sunday.

After a barren first-half Mohammedan SC scored twice through Mohammed Zeedan (42nd minute) and skipper Sujay Budhuk (55th) to set up the final with Minerva Punjab FC on Tuesday at the same venue.

In the earlier rounds SAI had played an attractive style of football that saw them tipped as favourites to progress and they started the game in a similar style.

SAI 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 gradually eased into the game and should have taken the lead in the 23rd minute when a defence splitting pass by Zeedan found Sujay in the area, but the forward fired his effort straight into the hands of SAI goalkeeper Gopal Hembram.

A few minutes later Mohammedan SC had two near misses from headed attempts – Tapan Soren hit the crossbar with his looping effort, while Aftab Ali went narrowly wide of the target with Gopal completely beaten.

At the other end, Mohammedan SC custodian Sakirul Islam was called into action in the 33rd minute when he produced a fine save to keep out Euzin Topno’s header.

The two sides went into the half-time break, deadlocked at 0-0.

Needing a goal, Mohammedan SC came out all guns blazing in the second half as they attacked by pushing high up. The pressure paid off as the Young Panthers finally broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute minute. Nabakumar Santra held off a defender on the left flank and floated in a cross to the far post finding Zeedan who converted with a left footed volley to put Mohammedan SC 1-0 up.

Having taken the lead, Mohammedan SC got a much needed confidence boost and they increased their pressure up front dominating the game entirely. Their continues pressure yielded another goal in the 55th minute when Sujay slotted from inside the box after Subrata Pramanik played a delightful ball.

SAI upped their efforts towards the closing stages of the second-half and were unfortunate not to pull a goal back in the 59th minute when Mohammed Aziz Islam’s volley went inches wide of Sakirul’s goal.

SAI coach Deepak Boro introduced strikers Subhankar Das and Jigmee Gurung in a bid to get some late equalizers, but it proved too little too late as Mohammedan SC held on to emerge winners.

Mohammedan look to bank on home advantage in U13 YL semi

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club will cross swords with SAI East Zone in the second semifinal of inaugural U-13 Youth League at Barasat Stadium on Sunday (May 6, 2018), kick-off at 7:45 pm.

The home-based Mohammedan SC will be shouldering the hopes of millions of club faithful, however, in their way stand an SAI side looking as solid as can be.

Mohammedan SC, who had a tremendous run in the Kolkata zonal round by making it 10 wins out of 10, were pitted against Dempo SC and Shillong Lajong in Group B of Final Round.

The Kolkata outift showed their mettle in the first outing itself as the Young Panthers eased past Dempo 2-0 thanks to goals from Nabakumar Santra and Mohammed Zeedan. Though Mohammedan SC had to taste a sour defeat against Lajong in their final group game but made it to the last four thanks to a superior goal difference after all three teams finished with 3 points each.

Mohammedan SC will be expected to take more chances if they hope to have a chance at the finals especially with the tournament producing so many goals, 15 matches in the round-robin has already saw 59 goals scored. The team goes into the semifinals with the least number of goals – two compared to opponents SAI who have 11.

“This is the same team that has won the IFA Nursery League earlier this season and all the matches in Kolkata zonal round. We are very positive that we can surprise SAI and get a positive result,” said Mohammedan SC Coach Ananta Ghosh.

According to Ghosh his side will strike a balance between offensive and defensive play but will definitely take the game to the opposition and continue with the style and combinations that has served the side well so far.

“SAI is a good team and I think we need to improve our game as we have shown throughout the zonal round. I completely trust my players and hopefully they will again execute the game plan the coaching staff will set like they have done so well so far.” Ghosh added.

Though it may appear that Mohammedan SC have an excellent pedigree to go the distance, but they have to topple a SAI side that have grown stronger and stronger as the tournament has progressed.

SAI entered the semifinals as the best second-placed team beating Roots Football School 4-0 and Chennaiyin FC 6-0 after losing to Sudeva FC 1-2 in their first Group C fixture.

Skipper Mohammed Aziz Islam along with strikers Debajit Roy and Farman Ansari holds the key for SAI and expected to provide a stiff challenge for the Mohammedan SC back-line that had some troubled times against Lajong.

However, the SAI think tank might be worried of injury of one of their key player Albat Sangma, who limped out aginst Chennaiyin during their last group game, but they are confident that rest of the squad can fill the empty space if the winger fails to recover in time.

‘LUCKY’ MOHAMMEDAN SC MAKES IT TO THE U-13 YL SEMIFINALS

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club were lucky to make it to the semifinals of the inaugural U-13 Youth League as Group B champions.

The Young Panthers, who beat Dempo SC 2-0 on the opening day, only required a draw from their final group game against Shillong Lajong FC at Howrah Stadium to earn a place in the semifinals but ended up losing the match courtesy Gladdy Nelchen Kharbuli’s 43rd minute strike.

However, the Ananta Kumar Ghosh-coached side sneaked into the final four thanks to a better goal difference as all three teams finished on 3 ponits with Lajong have been left to rue missed opportunities.

Mohammedan SC will face SAI East Zone, who qualified as the best second-placed team, in the semifinal on Sunday at Howrah Stadium.

All Or Nothing For Mohammedan, Lajong in U-13 Youth League

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club will face Shillong Lajong FC in their last Group B fixture of the 2017/18 U-13 Youth League Final Round on Thursday at the Sailen Manna Stadium in Howrah. Kick-off at 4:00 pm.

The Young Panthers, who beat Dempo Sports Club 2-0 in the opener on Sunday, needs a draw against Lajong to qualify for the semi-finals. However,  Mohmmedan SC U-13 Head Coach Ananta Kumar Ghosh left no doubts that his team will go for the victory.

“I know a draw is enough for us but once we try and play for a draw, we might end up losing the game. We are going in for a win that’s the only goal we have in mind. That’s the only way we can approach.” said Ghosh.

Lajong, on the other hand, suffered a 1-2 defeat against Dempo in their first Group B fixture and need to win the match at any cost to progress beyond the group stages.

Mohammedan SC go down against Bengaluru FC ‘B’

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC ‘B’ bounced back from a disappointing loss in the previous round with a dominant 2-1 win over Kolkata’s Mohammedan Sporting Club in a 2nd Division League encounter at the Bangalore Football Stadium, on Sunday. Goals from Naorem Roshan Singh (37’) and Lamgoulen Hangshing (82’) on either side of a Wael Ayan (39’) equalizer for the visitors handed BFC ‘B’ their fourth win in seven games as they moved back to the top of the table in Group-C with 14 points ahead of TRAU FC (14) on head-to-head.

Going into their penultimate home game, Coach Naushad Moosa made three changes to the line-up, handing starts to goalkeeper Shainkhan CP, winger Roshan Singh and attacker Lalrintluanga Chawnglut.

After some early chances through set-pieces, the Blues finally broke the deadlock in the 37th minute. Prashanth Kalinga’s corner in from the left was cleared out and fell for Roshan who hammered home from distance on the half-volley for his first goal of the campaign.

The hosts’ joy was short-lived though as a defensive lapse allowed Mohammedan to pull level two minutes later. Substitute Tirthankar Sarkar curled in a cross from the right to find attacker Wael Ayan at the far post and Syrian finished from close range past a helpless Shainkhan to make it 1-1.

The Blues dominated majority of the proceedings in the second period and almost took the lead once again in the 55th minute. Biswa Darjee, Lamgoulen, Lalrintluanga and Naorem combined well as the hosts pushed up from the left. Lalrintluanga then played Naorem through for the final ball in the box, but his low effort is saved by the rival ‘keeper.

Bengaluru’s persistence paid off as Lamgoulen struck eight minutes from time. Prashanth Kalinga set Lalrintluanga through on the right who cut back perfectly to find Lamgoulen in the box and the striker made no mistake this time in slotting home from close range to seal the game in the Blue Colts’ favour.

Bengaluru FC ‘B’ now host Chennaiyin FC Reserves in the final home game of the season on May 5.

U13 Youth League finals begins in Kolkata

KOLKATA: The Final Round of the inaugural U-13 Youth League began in Kolkata with a bang on Sunday (April 29, 2018). Ten teams were in action on the opening day with a total of 5 matches played respectively at Barasat Stadium and VYBK Practice Ground.

Minerva Punjab FC and Mohammedan Sporting Club set the pace early with dominant performances.

In Group B Mohammedan Sporting Club and Dempo SC reignited the classic Bengal-Goa rivalry when the both teams faced off at Barasat Stadium.

Mohammedan SC started the match aggressively and took a 7th minute lead through winger Nabakumar Satra. Having taken the lead, Mohammedan SC pushed forward in numbers but failed to increase the lead further in first-half. However, Mohammedan SC’s persistent efforts finally paid off in the 52nd minute when substitute Mohammed Zeedan found the target to confirm full three points for the home side.

Meanwhile earlier today, Minerva Punjab faced Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools in Group A opener at Barasat Stadium, with Minerva Punjab coming out victorious 3-1. Minerva Punjab drew the first blood through their skipper Himanshu Jangra in the 24th minute, however his BBFS counterpart Ranjan Soren levelled matters just three minutes later. Nonetheless, a second half barce from Tongbram Maheron Singh (44th and 60th) handed Minerva Punjab full three points.

Elsewhere, Roots Football Academy and Chennaiyin FC shared the spoils in Group C opener. Mohamed Liyaakath earned Chennaiyin a point when he cancelled out B. Gambheer’s first-half stoppage time strike at VYBK Practice Ground

In other Group C fixture which took place in the evening at VYBK Practice Ground, Delhi-based Sudeva FC edged past SAI Kolkata 2-1. Sudeva took a early lead through Aryan Khokhar in the 6th minute before Subho Paul doubled the lead in the 38th minute. SAI did not go down without a fight and reduced the margin through Subhajit Barman in second-half stoppage time.

The last fixture of the day was a Group A tie between Reliance Foundation Young Champs and Aizawl FC which ended in a 1-1 draw at Barasat Stadium under flood-lights. Razibul Mistry gave RFYS the lead in the 27th minute but Aizawl responded in the very next minute and equalised through Lal Hriatrenga. Both teams had few more chances in the second-half but failed to score the winning goal.

BLACK PANTHERS SEEK REVIVAL UNDER NEW COACH

BANGALORE: Mohammedan Sporting Club will seek a revival of fortunes under new coach Mridul Banerjee when they take on Bengaluru FC ‘B’ in a must win Group C fixture of the 2017/18 Hero 2nd Division League at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Sunday.

Mridul Banerjee takes over the reins of the team after previous incumbent Biswajit Bhattacharya put in his papers following a five-match winless streak which leaves them on fourth place in Group C with nine points from seven matches, five points shy of leaders TRAU.

“We have to overcome this difficult phase with hard work. Players are fully aware that what happened in last few matches is simply unacceptable for a club of Mohammedan SC’s magnitude and stature. The first thing I need to do with the players is to reinforce them mentally, to make them mentally stronger. Once the head is okay, then everything else will take care of itself. The important thing is injecting them with elements of self-belief and self-confidence.” Coach Banerjee said.

“We need to prepare for the race till the end because the difference between top and bottom teams is not that big. Definitely it’s difficult but not impossible we need to give our best shot,” he added.

Although Coach has mentioned that it’s literally impossible to make any drastic changes in just 48 hours but judging by Mohammedan SC’s training session on Saturday, the former defender has definitely succeeded to inject positive energy in the side that has lost the fighting spirit and will to win.

Hopes of a revival in fortunes will be brightened further by the arrival of former skipper Rana Gharami and midfield mainstay Sheikh Faiaz who returned to the side after a impressive Hero I-League campaign for Mohun Began. However, strikers Jiten Murmu and Fikru Lemessa are out nursing injuries.

Mohammedan SC’s mental resolve will be tested by a Bengaluru FC side who will be eager to bounce back on the winning ways having suffred a 3-0 home defeat to Langsning FC in their last outing.

YOUNG PANTHERS SET TO BEGIN FINAL ROUND CAMPAIGN AGAINST JUNIOR EAGLES

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club will begin their campaign at the Final Round of the inaugural Under-13 Youth League 2017/18 at the Barasat Stadium on Sunday.

The Young Panthers have been grouped with Dempo Sports Club and Shillong Lajong FC in Group B. The winners of each group and the best second-placed team will qualify for the semifinals.

“We are up against two of the best youth teams in India. The fact is both Dempo and Lajong will be difficult opponent but it does not intimidate us. Rather, it inspires respect and my players will be up to the task. We will take one match at a time,” said Head Coach Ananta Kumar Ghosh.

Mohammedan SC begins their campaign against Dempo 29th April at Barasat before facing Lajong on 3rd May at Howrah Stadium, both matches will kick-off at 4:00 pm.