JITEN BETTER THAN MANY FOREIGN STRIKERS – BISWAJIT BHATTACHARYA

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club Head Coach Biswajit Bhattacharya believes Jiten Murmu will only improve and would play a crucial role for the team in remainder of the season.

The gaffer feels Jiten has all of the physical and mental attributes that are needed to become a successful striker, as he told mohammedansportingindia.com: “Jiten is mentally very strong and he is very sure of himself.”

“He is very technical on the ball and he has lots of endurance. I would say he is probably better than many foreign strikers playing in Kolkata right now. I want more and more from him because he has all the qualities for that,” he added.

Jiten signed for Mohammedan SC from East Bengal ahead of Calcutta Football League this season. Though the 22-year-old previously spent three seasons with East Bengal, but truly flourished at Mohammedan SC and emerged as one of Mohammedan SC’s outstanding performances with 5 goals and 4 assists in 7 appearances.

The striker was criticized for somewhat lackluster performance against Mohun Bagan last week, however turned up in style against his former employer and delivered again for the Black Panthers when he scored and claimed an assist in a 2-2 draw yesterday, which ended East Bengal’s 24-match winning streak in CFL.

Nonetheless, Coach Bhattacharya insists Jiten can handle the pressure and will improve, regardless of the attention he gets following his recent exploits.

“He’s been about long enough now to handle the pressure. He is still growing. He’s going to fill out even more. His knowledge of the game and his game intelligence will continue to grow and he will keep learning. I believe, with his talent he can accomplish amazing things.” Coach Bhattacharya concluded.

WILLIS PLAZA SCORE LATE TO DENY MOHAMMEDAN A WIN

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club were held to a 2-2 draw by East Bengal in their Calcutta Football League encounter on Saturday.

East Bengal took a early lead through Mahmoud Al Amna (2nd minute) only for Jiten Murmu (20th) to equalize for Mohammedan SC before Aser Pierrick Dipanda Dicka (67th) put the Black Panthers ahead, however Willis Plaza’s (87th) late goal save the blushes for East Bengal at Kalyani Stadium.

The result meant Mohammedan SC remain on third position in the league table with 14 points while East Bengal moved to the summit with 19 points.

Going into the game, Coach Biswajit Bhattacharya made four changes to the side from the previous match by handing starts to Jiten Murmu, Tirthankar Sarkar, Dipendu Dowary and Rana Gharami at the expenses of Manandeep Singh, Satyam Sharma, Prohlad Roy and Harjinder Singh.

East Bengal started the first half on the front foot and unsettled the Mohammedan SC defense in the 2nd minute itself when Al Amna slotted home after Arnab Mondal set up the Syrian from Mohammed Rafique’s free-kick to put East Bengal 1-0 up.

Having conceded early on, Mohammedan SC began attacking with intensity through Dipanda, Kalu Ogba and Dipendu Dowary. The pressure paid off as Mohammedan SC restored the parity at the 20th minute mark. Kalu made a run down the left and squared to Jiten inside the box who then rifled a fierce shot past East Bengal keeper Luis Barreto.

Thereafter, both sides had a few chances in the later stage of the half but couldn’t convert as the scoreline remained one-goal-a-piece going into the breather.

Mohammedan SC came out strong in the second half and began attacking from the word go. However, the East Bengal defense managed to hold on and clear all the attacks in the opening quarter.

Nonetheless, Mohammedan SC’s constant pressure finally paid off as they took the lead midway through the second half. Jiten with a good solo run went past a couple of defenders on the right before cutting back for Dipanda, on the edge of the box. The Cameroonian striker kept his calm to get a first time shot which the rival keeper failed to handle and the ball ended up in the net.

The Black Panthers almost got their third goal in the 73rd minute when Shekh Faiaz and Dipanda combined on the left flank. A quick one-two sent Faiaz clear and the lanky winger cut past two defenders only for his powerful drive to go inches over the horizontal.

Afterwards, both sides engaged in some end-to-end stuff. While Mohammedan SC had the better chances to go further up, East Bengal capitalized on a defensive error as Plaza scored three minutes from the time to pull East Bengal level.

Mohammedan SC battled hard in the final minutes looking for a winner, but East Bengal managed to hold on defending deep as the game ended 2-2.

MOHAMMEDAN SC LOOK TO SPOIL EAST BENGAL’S TITLE RACE

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club look to dent a blow in East Bengal’s ambitions to secure eighth consecutive Calcutta Football League title when they lock horns on Saturday.

It was like a replay of the CFL match last season when Mohammedan SC and East Bengal battled it out for top honors in Kolkata football. However, the only difference this time around is that Mohammedan SC have fallen far behind in the championship race and pride will be the only thing at stake in Kalyani Stadium.

Nonetheless, Mohammedan SC Coach Biswajit Bhattacharya insists that his players will approach the match with the same intensity and hopes of resurrecting their campaign.

“We have to play with the same intensity. We are professionals. When we go on the pitch, we must respect the jersey, the fans and the honor of club. Our fate may have been sealed but we have to go out and do our best to win because that’s what we deserve,” Coach Bhattacharya said on the eve of the clash.

Currently on third position with 13 points from 7 matches, the Black Panthers coming into the tie with an emphatic 6-0 win over Railway FC in their last match and will be full of confidence at the prospect of upsetting East Bengal, who are on second with 18 points.

“It will be an enticing affair and the team which can handle the pressure better will be able to prevail. East Bengal are a very good side and they have shown how easily they can dominate teams. But we have shown that we are a team not to be taken lightly. We will go hard at them enforcing our own style of attacking flare,”  the gaffer added.

The match pits the league’s best attack against it’s best defense. Mohammedan SC have scored 23 goals this campaign while East Bengal have allowed only three.

However, their leaky defense will continue to be the main cause for worry for Coach Bhattacharya, who knows they will need to defend better against East Bengal if they are to contain the threat of Mahmoud Al Amna and Willis Plaza.

On the team news front, Coach Bhattacharya will have a full squad at his disposal with skipper Rana Gharami returning from a one-match suspension that caused him to miss the clash against Railway FC.

For the record, Mohammedan SC last defeated East Bengal in CFL on 10 August, 2014, since then East Bengal haven’t lost a single match in CFL and unbeaten in 34 straight matches, a streak that the Black Panthers will be eager to end.

The match at Kalyani Stadium kicks-off at 2:45 PM on Saturday and will be televised on Kolkata TV.

FIFA, AFC OFFICIALS VISITS MOHAMMEDAN SPORTING CLUB

KOLKATA: FIFA and AFC officials visited the Mohammedan Sporting Club tent on Thursday 14 September 2017 where they held a meeting with Club officials to discuss how there can be one league in India next year.

The two-member delegation comprising of FIFA Consultant Mr. Nic Coward and Head of AFC-UEFA Affairs Mr. Alex Phillips along side Hero I-League CEO Mr. Sunanda Dhar and FSDL Official Mr. Chirag Tanna had a discussion with Club’s Hony. General Secretary Mr. Ghazal uz Zafar, Hony. Football Secretary Mr. Sharique Ahmed, Hony. Ground Secretary Mr. Mohammed Qamaruddin, Chairman of Football Committee Mr. Dipendu Biswas and Senior Official Mr. Belal Ahmed Khan.

In the meeting the Club has demonstrated it’s rich legacy and the recent success in Youth Development, the delegates took note of the points made by the Club and praised for it’s efforts in Youth Development.

MOHAMEDAN SC ROUT RAILWAY FC 6-0

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club hammered Railway FC 6-0 in the Calcutta Football League on Wednesday Barasat Stadium.

Aser Pierrick Dipanda Dicka (19th minute, 35th, 47th and 90+2nd) scored four with Manandeep Singh (26th) and Prohlad Roy (60th) also got on the score-sheet as Mohammedan SC register the biggest win this year’s competition.

Going into the game, Mohammedan SC coach Biswajit Bhattacharya made five changes to the side from the previous match against Mohun Bagan, as Harjinder Singh filled the gap for a suspended Rana Gharami while Kamran Farooque, Prohlad Roy, Satyam Sharma and Manandeep came at the expenses of Amit Chakraborty, Dipendu Dowary, Tirthankar Sarkar and Jiten Mumru respectively.

Mohammedan SC began the better of both sides, and after some half chances in the opening exchanges, they took the lead in the 19th minute. Dipanda capitalized on a poor clearance and smashed home a powerful right footer with Railway FC custodian Rana Chakraborty watching helplessly.

The Black Panthers doubled their lead seven minutes later when Diapnda sent Manandeep clear in the rival box. The former Kerala Blasters striker kept his calm and finished over an advanced keeper to make it 2-0.

Diapnda then got on the score-sheet again striking in the final quarter. The Cameroonian tapped home from close in the 35th minute after getting a pass from Shekh Faiaz.

Thereafter, Mohammedan SC continued to push up and create chances but but poor finishing in the final third meant the first half ended 3-0.

Mohammedan SC  virtually finished off the game two minutes after restart. Ankit Mukherjee curled in a great cross which wasn’t properly cleared and fell for Dipanda inside the box. The striker controlled the ball and smashed home the half volley to complete his second hat-trick of the league.

The scoring spree did not end there as Prohlad increased the lead further after striking home from close range in the 60th minute.

Meanwhile, Railway FC had a couple of good opportunities to reduce the margin but the visitors were unlucky and Mohammedan SC well at the back.

Mohammedan SC  didn’t take their foot off the accelerator and continued to dominate proceedings but had to wait till injury time to get their sixth when Dipanda head home to score his 10th goal of the competition.

The win took Mohammedan SC’s tally to 13 points from 7 games and they will face East Bengal next on Saturday at Kalyani.

MOHAMMEDAN SC PLAY FOR PRIDE AGAINST RAILWAY FC

KOLKATA: In less than 48 hours from the grueling Kolkata Derby against Mohun Bagan in Kalyani, Mohammedan Sporting Club is set to take the field in Calcutta Football League when they face Railway FC on Wednesday at Barasat.

Mohammedan SC is placed third, with 10 points from 6 matches, behind Mohun Bagan and East Bengal and with the title race looking set to be decided between the top two sides in the table, the Black Panthers will be keen to present a good account of itself in the remaining matches.

The Black Panthers head into the game on the back of a 2-1 defeat against Mohun Bagan and only a strange and highly unlikely set of results would see them finishing among the top teams in the table.

However, Mohammedan SC coach Biswajit Bhattacharya still believes there is plenty to play for and strictly advised his players to concentrate on the task at hand.

“I am happy about my team’s performance. Boys put up a brilliant performance in all the matches. We want to continue the good work in our remaining matches and finish the league on high,” coach Bhattacharya said.

Going into the match, Mohammedan SC will look to the likes of Aser Pierrick Dipanda Dicka, Jiten Murmu and Manvir Singh to inspire them to victory, though all three misfired against Mohun Bagan but coach Bhattacharya insists that the trio will be able to put the disappointment behind and prove themselves again.

Mohammedan SC has no noteworthy injury problems. However, coach Bhattacharya will have to make at least one change to his starting line-up, as skipper Rana Gharami is unavailable due to suspension, following his two yellow cards earlier in the league.

MOHAMMEDAN’S TITLE HOPES BURIED AFTER 2-1 LOSS TO MOHUN BAGAN

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club’s title hopes in the ongoing Calcutta Football League buried following a 2-1 defeat against Mohun Bagan on Monday.

Mohun Bagan scored in each half through Azharuddin Mallick (38th minute and 90+1st) to make Shekh Faiaz’s opener (22nd) count little at Kalyani Stadium.

This was Mohun Bagan’s first win against Mohammedan SC in over four years. Interestingly, last time when Mohun Bagan beat Mohamedan SC that was also a CFL encounter which was played at Kalyani in March 2013.

Going into the match, Mohammedan SC coach Biswajit Bhattacharya made only one change to the side from the previous match by bringing in defender Amit Chakraborty — who started against Pathachakra Club in the opener — at the expense of Kamran Farooque.

The game began with both sides engaging in some end-to-end action during the opening quarter. Mohammedan SC distinctly had an upper hand with the chances they created early in the match. Mohun Bagan in the bargain did well but could not penetrate the Mohammedan SC defense.

Having gone close on a few occasions, the Black Panthers took the lead in the 22nd minute. A horrible misunderstanding between two Mohun Bagan defenders allowed the winger to slot from Dipanda Dicka’s pass.

Thereafter, Mohammedan SC continued to push up and create chances but lacked the finishing touch in the rival box. Meanwhile, at the other end, Mohun Bagan pulled level against the run of play with Azharuddin scoring from Bayi Kamo Stephane’s right sided pass in the 38th minute.

The goal stunned Mohammedan SC momentarily but they did not lose hope and kept on the pressure as the game dragged towards the end of first half. The Black Panthers had a chance through Jiten Murmu two minutes before half time but the striker was unlucky to see his effort go off target from close range as both sides went into the breather tied at 1-1.

The second half was a similar story to the first as Mohammedan SC continued to dominate proceedings. However, once again it was the lack of finishing that let them down.

Having created numerous half chances, the Black Panthers went extremely close midway through the half through Dipanda, whose attempt from inside the box was denied by Mohun Bagan custodian Shilton Paul after being set up by Dipendu Dowary in the 62nd minute.

In the final quarter, both sides engaged in an end-to-end battle, while Mohammedan SC had the better chances to take the lead, Mohun Bagan capitalized on a defensive error as Azharuddin head home the winner from Chesterpaul Lyngdoh’s cross.

Following the result, Mohammedan SC remained on third spot in the table with 10 points from 6 games while Mohun Bagan moved to the summit with 19 points from 7 games.

MAKE OR BREAK FOR BLACK PANTHERS AGAINST MOHUN BAGAN

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club coach Biswajit Bhattacharya believes his team has the character to hold their own against Mohun Bagan in a must-win tie on Monday.

The Calcutta Football League fixture at Kalyani promises to be a intense battle involving high stakes. Mohammedan SC, now in the 3rd spot in the table with 10 points from 5 matches, head into the match knowing that anything less than a victory would send them out of the title picture, while Mohun Bagan also has everything to play for as a loss could potentially end their title aspirations.

Mohammedan SC’s title chase have faltered after they dropped points in a 1-1 draw against Calcutta Customs in their last match and they cannot afford to drop points further if they are to challenge table topper East Bengal.

Nonetheless, the Black Panthers will draw a bit of solace from the fact that are unbeaten against Mohun Bagan in their previous seven encounters.

“The game against Mohun Bagan is a determining factor to our future in the league and we are aware of what is expected of us. Mohun Bagan is a very good team and you have to be in your best form when you play against them. As things stand, the destiny remains in our hands and we have to make the most of the opportunities because you can only win matches by scoring goals,” said a confident coach Bhattacharya.

Coach Bhattacharya is aware that his team failed to put up an organised game against Customs with his strikers missing chances. He is now hoping that his team strike the right chord and win against Mohun Bagan, who are under pressure having played a 1-1 draw against Rainbow AC midweek.

“It is definitely going to be an open game as both teams are strong in attack. I foresee a highly competitive game and we will do what is important to take the three points at stake. We hope to implement our natural attacking game and seek to eliminate mistakes at the back,” coach Bhattacharya added.

The Black Panthers will have to be wary of the dangerous duo of Bayi Kamo Stephane and Ghanefo Ansumana Kromah.

However, coach Bhattacharya has revealed that there is no special plan in place to thwart the duo, who scored 11 out of Mohun Bagan’s 16 goals goals in the league. Rather, the gaffer wants to concentrate on strengthening his armoury. “We want to win and my sole focus is on that. Let’s concentrate on ourselves. If we do well, other things will automatically be taken care of.” he concluded.

Better news for the Black Panthers is they head into the match with no injury worries and likely to go with an unchanged side from the previous match.

Cameroonian ace Aser Pierrick Dipanda Dicka says, even though they are in a tricky situation, it is still possible to finish the league as champions.

“Everything is possible in football. What we have to do is just keep winning. It’s not easy but certainly achievable. We are very determined and the confidence has always been there,” said the striker.

The match at Kalyani Stadium kicks-off at 2:45 PM on Monday and will be televised on Kolkata TV.

IMPORTANT DECISIONS TAKEN IN EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING

KOLKATA: Jb. Amiruddin Bobby has been formally elected Mohammedan Sporting Club president at a Executive Committee meeting held in Kolkata on Saturday. Jb. Amiruddin who served the Club as Treasurer from 2001 to this date succeeds Jb. Sultan Ahmed who passed away earlier this week after suffering a heart attack.

Meanwhile, Jb. Iqbal Ahmed resigned from the post of Football Secretary citing health issues and Jb. Sharique Ahmed, Youth Development Committee Chairman, succeeded him.

“I am thankful to the Executive Committee for considering me for the post. I am not the substitute for what we have lost but I will try to give my best for the benefit of this historical institution,” said Jb. Amiruddin.

Meanwhile, Jb. Sharique Ahmed, the youngest son of Jb. Sultan Ahmed, said: “For my father the Club was above everything else. He always used to say many Sultan Ahmeds can come and go but the Club will remain for ever. It’s not just a Club but a treasure from our ancestors to future generations and we have to protect it. He has many dreams for the Club and now it’s our responsibility to fulfill them.”

“He always emphasized the importance of youth development. He often said the foundation you create today will determine your future. I seek support from everyone to continue his unfinished work,” he added further.

TRIBUTES POUR IN FOR SULTAN AHMED

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporing Club on Friday paid rich tribute to late club president Mr. Sultan Ahmed who passed away earlier this week after suffering a heart attack.

A condolence meeting was held at Mohammedan Sporing Club tent where Kolkata’s football fraternity revisited the memories of Sultan Ahmed.

The condolence meeting was attended by Former Sports Minister of West Bengal Mr. Madan Mitra, AIFF Senior Vice President Mr. Subrata Dutta, Mayor of Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation Mr. Sabyasachi Dutta, Mohun Bagan Finance Secretary Mr. Debasish Dutta, East Bengal Ground Secretary Mr. Dipankar Chakraborty, Mohammedan Sporting Club office bearers and Sultan Ahmed’s family beside Indian football stalwarts such as Mr. Subhash Bhowmick, Mr. Aloke Mukherjee, Mr. Manash Bhattacharya, Mr. Bidesh Bose, Mr. Dipendu Biswas, Mr. Prasanta Chakraborty, Mr. Mridul Banerjee, Mr. Biswajit Bhattacharya and Mr. Tope Ayodeji Fuja.

Paying glowing tribute to Sultan Ahmed, Mohammedan Sporting Club Working President Mr. Jameel Manzar said: “Sultan Ahmed’s death is a big loss for not only Mohammedan Sporting Club, Bengal but Indian football. The void his death created will hardly be filled.”

“He was an administrator with a footballing heart. He was an inspiration, and in times of crisis we used to look upto him every time. the light has gone out of our lives,” said Mohammedan Sporting Club General Secretary Mr. Ghazal uz Zafar.

Legendary Indian striker Mr. Dipendu Biswas said: “Indian football has lost a true sports administrator, a dynamic personality, a man with a vision who will be remembered for bringing in major transformation to the Mohammedan Sporting Club.”

“I am deeply saddened to know about the demise of Sultan Ahmed. He was one of those administrators for whom the game of football was above everything else. My thoughts are with his family, ” Mr. Subrata Dutta said.

Mr. Madan Mitra said: “Sultan Ahmed was one person who had well wishers all over the country. His untiring efforts will be remembered for generations and his contributions will remain unparalleled. It’s everyone responsibility over here to make sure that Mohammedan Sporting Club reaches where it should be.”