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Bhowmick ‘blames’ it on Habeeb

Calcutta: “You never believed me when I said Mohammed Habeeb as a coach is dangerous,” said East Bengal coach Subhas Bhowmick after the teams’ 3-3 Calcutta Super Division League draw at the Salt Lake Stadium Thursday. “You though I was being polite. But I can assure you that any team with Habeeb as coach will be the team to beat.”

While he praised Mohammedan Sporting for its brave fightback (incidentally, the entire crowd applauded the tremendous effort), he also said that as far as his defence was concerned, he could “do precious little.” He said he knew what he was up with at the back line, but with no personnel, there is no way I can offer a good resistance.”

Habeeb said now he believes he just might have a chance at the title. “Look, the last time we came across each other (and Mohammedan Sporting lost badly), this title search was still a distant affair and I wasn’t really going to lose any sleep over that. But today, after what my boys did, I am very hopeful.

“I had asked by boys to go all out today, I had asked them to give all in the 90 minutes they will be on the field, and they did. All credit to my boys,” he said. “It was great to be able to come back from a 0-2 deficit. I believe I was lucky too, that Okoro missed the penalty. Had that goal been scored, then coming back against a team like East Bengal would really have been difficult.”

“It was a won game we drew,” said Mohammedan Sporting striker Dipendu Biswas. “And I am ecstatic that this was my first goal in a ‘big’ match and that gave my team such a good draw,” said Syed Rahim Nabi who put in two today. He said he was especially happy with his first goal (the header).

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