Mohammedan secure I-League return after 7 years

By: Sports Desk |

October 16, 2020 8:26:21 pm

Mohammedan Sporting secured their place within the 2020-21 version of the I-League after beating native rivals Bhawanipore FC of their I-League Qualifiers 2020 match on Friday on the Kalyani Stadium — returning to the competitors after a niche of seven years. Goals from Vanlalbiaa Chhangte and Gani Nigam gave the Black Panthers a 2-Zero win, which permits them to tie down first place within the competitors regardless of one spherical of fixtures nonetheless to play.

The win takes Mohammedan, who final performed within the I-League within the 2013-14 season, to 9 factors with one match to play, three forward of Bhawanipore — who even have one recreation remaining on the ultimate day. However, they can’t overtake Mohammedan owing to an inferior head-to-head report after right this moment’s outcome.

The first half of the ‘virtual final’ started in a fiery method proper from kick-off and in simply the third minute, Mohammedan Sporting regarded destined to take the lead by way of Vanlalbiaa Chhangte. The ball fell to the right-winger contained in the field from a free-kick and he launched a strong shot on aim from shut vary, solely to be denied by a diving Shilton Paul, who made a terrific reflex save.

The alternative set the tone for the remainder of the sport between the 2 native rivals as Mohammedan stored extra possession and Bhawanipore regarded to play on the counter-attack — a method which had paid wealthy dividends for Sankarlal Chakraborty and his staff of their two earlier video games.

Midfielder Firoj Ali got here near discovering the goal from lengthy vary for the Black Panthers within the 18th minute, along with his shot being blocked away for a nook. Six minutes later, Bhawanipore’s star ahead Philip Adjah virtually gave his aspect the lead on the opposite finish of the pitch. Latching on to a weak clearance, the Ghanaian focused Priyant Singh’s close to put up from the sting of the penalty space however noticed his effort get deflected, hit the put up and return into play.

On the very subsequent assault, within the 27th minute, Mohammedan claimed the go-ahead aim by way of Chhangte — who was to not be denied this time by Shilton. The transfer started with some stunning build-up play between Chhangte and Willis Plaza down the fitting flank, with the latter discovering SK Faiaz contained in the field with a pinpoint through-pass. The ahead laid it off for an onrushing Chhangte with a tasty first contact and the winger rounded Shilton to attain and provides his aspect the lead.

Bhawanipore sparked into life after the aim as they regarded to seek out the equalizer earlier than the break. Enjamul Hoque wasted a helpful crossing alternative within the 32nd minute and 5 minutes later, Adjah got here shut once more — as he latched on to a chipped through-ball and regarded to chip an advancing Priyant Singh however his shot solely discovered the aspect netting.

With two minutes to go, Bhawanipore’s Subhankar Das tried his luck with a rasping drive from lengthy vary, which went simply huge of the goal as the 2 groups went into the breather with the Black Panthers in entrance by one aim.

Sankarlal opted to make attacking adjustments within the second half as his aspect went in hunt of the equalizer. Eight minutes after the restart, Pankaj Moula, who already has two objectives to his title within the match, discovered himself on the tip of a cross from the left flank however his header was deflected huge for a nook.

As the match wore on, the stress ranges started to accentuate, with the tackles flying in at each ends. In the 64th minute, Adjah had one other wonderful likelihood to place his aspect again degree as he lower in from the left flank after beating two defenders. In a one-on-one scenario with the keeper, his shot was straight at Priyant as one other likelihood went begging for the aspect in blue.

Bhawanipore had been then made to pay for his or her missed probabilities within the 67th minute as substitute Gani Nigam doubled Mohammedan’s lead. Safiul Rahaman swung in a free-kick from the fitting, which got here off Monotosh Chakladar and reached Nigam on the far put up, who chested the ball calmly and slotted residence by way of Shilton’s legs to increase his aspect’s benefit.

Despite the setback, Bhawanipore continued to pour males ahead and within the 79th minute, they regarded poised to scale back the deficit — solely to be denied by a superb save. Avinabo Bag performed in a swerving cross for Jiten Murmu, who headed the ball on track however Priyant acrobatically dived to his proper to show the ball away for a nook.

Two minutes from full time, Mohammedan substitute Abhishek Rijal virtually made it three for his aspect with a free header from shut vary however his effort was simply huge. In the tip, the Black Panthers noticed out the sport with ease, regardless that Bhawanipore threw the kitchen sink at it and made it three wins in three to finish their return to the Hero I-League.

After the match, Mohammedan’s assistant coach Saheed Ramon said, “It’s a great feeling for all of us to qualify for the Hero I-League. It means a lot to us. Qualifying this time is a very good thing for the club and our supporters.”

Talking concerning the recreation, he mentioned, “We had studied Bhawanipore’s game and knew that they are strong on the counter-attack. We put out our strategy according to that and it worked well.”

Bhawanipore FC head coach Sankarlal Chakraborty mentioned, “The defeat is disappointing, of course. We knew that Mohammedan are a strong team and they played well. We had our fair share of chances and if we could convert them, the result would have been different. Now, our focus on the next match against ARA FC on October 19.”

On the final matchday on Monday (October 19, 2020), Mohammedan Sporting will face FC Bengaluru United on the VYBK Stadium whereas Bhawanipore will tackle ARA FC in Kalyani.


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