| Akeem scored a double
Calcutta: Shrugging off a sluggish start in the Super Division League, Tollygunge Agragami registered a thumping 7-1 win over West Bengal Police at East Bengal ground on Tuesday.
It equalled East Bengal’s Super Division record of the biggest win — the 7-1 rout of Mohammedan Sporting in 1998. It also added respectability to Tollygunge’s tally, which now reads eight points from six matches, after a lowly two from the first four outings. The policemen, who had earlier lost 0-6 to Mohun Bagan, stayed on three after six.
Tollygunge, looking better since the arrival of Nigerian brothers Akeem Abolanle and Isiaka Awoyemi and Amit Das’ return from injury, started slowly but ran roughshod over their rivals in the second session. They led 2-0 at the break.
Akeem, a prolific scorer for Tollygunge over the last few seasons, hit two. Kajal Bhattacharya got the first one in the 22nd minute, while Amit, Kaustav Ghosh, Niladri Chakraborty and Gouranga Dutta all chipped in with one apiece. Mrityunjoy Patra pulled one back for WB Police.
Tollygunge survived a sixth-minute scare when Patra shot wide after beating an advancing goalkeeper to a lob from the deep, but there was nothing in the Police challenge to seriously test Subrata Bhattacharya’s boys.
After Kajal opened the scoring following a corner, it was one-way traffic and the policemen escaped bigger embarrassment with the woodwork saving them once, apart from two easy misses by Amit and Akeem.
Akeem proved too powerful for the feeble challenges from the Police defence and to his credit, showed good accuracy near the goal. After hitting the post in the 29th minute, the striker made most of a pass from the deep and dragged it forward before slotting in.
After an uninteresting first quarter after resumption, Tollygunge started the goal-deluge in the 62nd minute. By this time, the Police team had given up. Kaustav received a pass from the left and found the target with a powerful, diagonal right-footer.
Gouranga took full advantage of the Police goalkeeper’s tendency to leave his line and chipped the ball over his head from 20 yards out in the 64th minute. Akeem then scored the goal of the match in the 80th minute.
After picking up a loose ball near the left touchline, he cut inside the box and unleashed a ferocious right-footer from a difficult angle, which kept the goalkeeper rooted to the spot before whistling in from the far side. Niladri completed the rout in the last minute.
Coach Subrata, though, was not elated. “There is still scope for improvement. We didn’t do anything superlative today.”
Tollygunge Agragami: Raj Narayan Mukherjee; Temzen Kibang (Kabijit Khotel, 27), Sujit Neogi, Isiaka Awoyemi, Goutam Debnath; Prakash Kolay (Suman Dutta, 46), Kajal Bhattacharya, Amit Das, Gouranga Dutta; Kaustav Ghosh (Niladri Chakraborty, 72), Akeem Abolanle.
WB Police: Swapan Bera (Ashim Aich, 29); Sandip Biswas, Subrata Das, Shib Sundar Hati, Sumit Sur; Samir Das, Shankar Sil, Joy Roygupta, Arindam Sarkar (Faruq Kayal, 38); Narugopal Ghosh, Mrityunjoy Patra.
Referee: Subrata Das.