Mohammedan start off I-League 2nd Division campaign with a win over Jamshedpur FC
Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar
Debasis Pradhan and Jiten Murmu scored for the Black Panthers against the Men of Steel on opening day.
Mohammedan Sporting kicked-off the 2nd Division I-League season in convincing fashion, with a 2-1 victory over Jamshedpur FC reserves at the Barasat Stadium giving them three points to start the season with. First-half goals from Debasis Pradhan and Jiten Murmu was enough to give the hosts all three points and even though JFC got one back through Vinay Kumar late into the match, they just weren’t good enough on the day.
It was a very young squad for the Jamshedpur side with nine under-22 players from the Tata Football Academy starting for the side. Mohammedan Sporting on the other hand, started with no foreigners as foreigners Fikru and Bayi Kamo are expected to start after a few matches, while defender Anyiche Celestine was on the bench. With a decent amount of supporters cheering them on, Mohammedan had the first real chance of the game in the 5th minute when midfielder Prohlad Roy’s left-footed shot from outside the box was saved well by Harpreet Singh.
Jamshedpur retained some possession after that and got their first chance a few minutes later when Raisen Hansda’s ambitious attempt from 35 yards out was collected easily by Suvam Sen. Mohammedan went close yet again in the 19th minute when a threatening free-kick founds its way to Rahul Jaiswal in the box, who tried an acrobatic attempt but the shot went sailing over the post.
Mohammedan were being frustrated by the young Jamshedpur side, but a lapse of concentration from them in the 26th minute allowed Tirthankar Sarkar to get a clear chance at goal from outside the box, but his volley was way off target. But Jamshedpur’s resistance was broken finally when striker Debasis Pradhan found himself in a good position inside the box and brilliantly curled in the ball to give Mohammedan the lead in the 35th minute.
Jamshedpur tried very hard to get back into the game and winger Gourav Mukhi was causing all the problems for them. He got into a dangerous position a few minutes later, but his shot was straight to the goalkeeper. They threatened again in 38th minute through a corner, but Pradhan’s goal-line clearance kept his side in the game.
The hosts doubled their lead in the 42nd minute as Sarkar's corner found the head of Jiten Murmu, who made no mistake in burying it. Jamshedpur went close through a corner once again minutes later, but Mohammedan almost made them pay and went on a surging counter-attack which was somehow cleared out of danger by the Jamshedpur side, who went into the break with a lot of problems.
Jamshedpur started the 2nd half positively and threatened on a set-piece again, with a long throw-in from Hansda finding the head of Vijay Kumar in the box, but his header was easily collected by Sen. Mohammedan almost scored another through a beautiful move which was started by Sarkar’s beautiful ball to Murmu, who tricked the JFC defense before laying it off for Pradhan whose shot could only hit the side-netting.
The captain went close once again in the 59th minute when he made a great run into the box and tried to chip the goalkeeper, but it went just over the bar. Mohammedan almost gifted Jamshedpur a lifeline a few minutes later when a bad back-pass was almost capitalized on by Gorachand Mamdi, but the brave Sen did well to keep him from scoring. Mohammedan received a free-kick in a dangerous area at the 74th minute and Sarkar hit the free-kick really well which wheezed just past the goal and left Singh scrambling.
Tirthankar Sarkar was enjoying himself towards the end and showed great skill by going past some of Jamshedpur’s defenders in the 81st minute, but his low shot was too weak to test Singh. As Mohammedan looked to be in control, Jamshedpur hit right back in the 84th minute as another dangerous throw-in from Raisen Hansda was too powerful for Mohammedan to clear and Vijay Kumar made no mistake in directing it towards the goal to get one back for JFC.
Another throw-in from Hansda a few minutes later threatened the Mohammedan defenders but nobody could divert it towards goal. Prakash Naik found a surge of energy and wheezed past many Mohammedan’s defenders before being stopped by Ankit Mukherjee and the follow-up attempt was poor. JFC put more pressure through throw-ins and another powerful one was headed into goal by a player, but Sen collected it well and that was enough for Mohammedan to go over the line.
Published: Wed Mar 14, 2018 08:40 PM IST