KALYANI: Mohammedan Sporting Club ended Group A of the 2020 IFA Shield with maximum points after defeating Kalighat MS 1-0 at Kalyani Stadium on Saturday. The Black Panthers, already qualified before the game, guaranteed the group top spot in style, winning both matches of their mini league campaign.
In a match that was devoid of much action and chances in front of goal, Gani Ahmed Nigam found the net with a clinical finish which earned full three points for Jose Hevia’s charges.
The victory saw Mohammedan SC finish with six points and top of Group A. For the quarter final, they will face Gokulam Kerala, who finished second in Group D, on Monday at Kalyani Stadium.
Mohammedan SC looked sharp from the outset pressing high and controlling possession with their quick and accurate passing game inside Kalighat’s half.
Sheikh Faiaz was particularly impressive both on the wing and inside the box as the Panthers have set up camp in front of their opponents’ goal reducing Kalighat’s options to a few counter attacking attempts.
Albeit displaying plenty of technical ability with eye-catching combination plays the Mohammedan SC strikers were guilty of straying offside on several occasions.
Kalighat looked to catch Mohammedan SC on the counter-attack, but poor finishing proved to be their downfall as they wasted a number of good opportunities to break the deadlock.
While Kalighat laboured in search of their feet, Mohammedan SC established a comfortable rhythm whenever they found themselves in possession making it tough for their opponents to impose their game.
It was a positive and spirited performance of Mohammedan SC in the first-half, which fully deserved at least one goal. Half-time, however, arrived with the score remaining goalless.
Following a scoreless opening half which failed to produce a clear goal-scoring opportunity, Mohammedan SC showed far more urgency and took the lead in the 51st minute when Gani made a smart run in behind the Kalighat back four to slot past a helpless Subrata Santra from close range.
The setback served to awaken Kalighat from their slumber and they threw players forward with abandon, in search of an equalizer. Anup Nag’s charges fought hard to not only keep themselves in the match but to try and find a goal which would help them secure at least a deserved point.
Although Kalighat remained determined to get back into the game, unfortunately the front line continued to fire off-target while Mohammedan SC started to establish a comfortable rhythm whenever they found themselves in possession making it tough for their opponents to impose their game.
Meanwhile, Mohammedan SC looked dangerous on the counter with Hira Mondal missing a golden chance to double his side’s advantage, however, at the end it didn’t matter as the Gani’s lone goal proved to be enough to decide the thrilling encounter.