|Mohammedan Sporting’s Luciano Sabrosa after getting the marching orders, on Monday. A Telegraph picture
Calcutta: Mohammedan Sporting, in their revamped avatar, must have expected Monday, the day of their season opener, to be a red-letter day. Instead, it turned out to be a red-card day.
Playing against Bhowanipore Club, in a CFL Premier Division Super 12 match at the Salt Lake Stadium, on Monday, Mohammedan Sporting had to be satisfied with a 1-1 draw. The quality of play didn’t attain great heights as controversies stole the spotlight.
Ajay Singh gave Mohammedan Sporting the lead in the added minutes of the first half. But Jose Ramirez Barreto’s equaliser from the spot in the 67th earned Bhowanipore an important point.
Coach Abdul Aziz Moshood had ensured that Mohammedan Sporting had thorough pre-season training. Moshood’s good work reflected in his team’s fitness as almost all the players ran their hearts out on Monday. But that was all.
Bhowanipore created the first opening of the match in the 20th minute when Surabuddin Mollick had kept the ball nicely for Barreto at the goal-mouth. But the ageing Brazilian couldn’t turn in time and the ball was cleared.
Moshood’s boys too got a couple of chances after that, but Ajay and Joshimar failed to do justice with them.
It was on the third minute of added time in the first-half that Ajay unleashed a brilliant left-footed low volley from the edge of the box to find the net. But the Bhowanipore camp was furious as they thought the referee, Ranjit Bakshi, played an extra minute in which they conceded the goal. Coach Carlton Chapman even had an altercation with referee for which he was asked to leave the reserve bench at the beginning of the second-half.
The match took a dramatic turn in the 66th when Mohammedan Sporting’s Luciano Sabrosa got a red card following his second bookable offence for bringing down Barreto inside the box. As Barreto converted the penalty with ease, making it 1-1, around 7,000 Mohammedan Sporting fans present at the ground erupted in protest.
After play resumed, Barreto missed two sitters while Moshood tried to find the winner substituting Joshimar with Penn Orji. But it was not simply not Mohammedan Sporting’s day.