Calcutta: Mohammedan Sporting could have won by at least half a dozen goals, but an exhibition of squandered chances forced them to return home with only a solitary strike against Aryan in the Calcutta Football League Premier Division Super XII match on Wednesday.
Penn Orji scored the winner in the 40th minute at the Salt Lake Stadium. This was Mohammedan Sporting’s first win after having drawn their opener against Bhowanipore.
With some of their first XI players having already left for New Delhi to participate in the Durand Cup, Mohammedan Sporting had to rely mostly on their reserve bench. Their star foreign recruits — Penn, and Tolgay Ozebe — though combined well to quell Aryan’s challenge.
Mohammedan Sporting play their Durand Cup opener on Thursday and their display against Aryan was enough to leave coach Abdul Aziz Moshood satisfied. “I’m not worried about the missed chances… I only hope we have better luck in Durand,” the coach said after the match.
Tolgay and the hardworking Penn combined well upfront to raise Mohammedan Sporting’s hopes this season. This was Tolgay’s first match of the season and showed glimpses of returning to his peak form.
Tolgay left the Aryan defence dazed with his off-the-ball play, and with a little bit of luck, could have scored on at least three occasions.
Two shots — one apiece from Sandeep Sangha and Joshimar — hit the bar and there were times when the goalkeeper came to Aryan’s defence.
Mohammedan Sporting could have scored in the 22nd minute when Tolgay’s cross was relayed by Penn to Dipendu Biswas and his chest trap almost landed inside the goalline. Goalkeeper Subhadip Banerjee enacted in time to prevent the ball from crossing over.
The winner came when Penn flicked Gagandeep Singh’s through over an advancing Subhadip from the top of the 18-yard box.