New Delhi: A jaded Mohammedan Sporting began their Durand Cup campaign on a winning note on Thursday, defeating Army Green 4-2 in a group 3 quarter-final league match at the Ambedkar Stadium here.
This was the second outing for the black-and-white brigde in less than 24 hours. On Wednesday, they played in the Calcutta Football League and then flew down to the capital to take part in the Durand Cup, a tournament they won only once in 1940.
“The footballers were tired, they hardly had any sleep,” said Mohammedan Sporting’s Nigerian coach Abdul Aziz Moshood. “This was our third match in five days. The players needed rest.”
Army Green were routed by another Calcutta outfit, Kalighat, only a couple of days ago, but they had Mohammedan Sporting in all sorts of trouble before the two foreigners – Tolgey Ozebe and Penn Orji – came to the team’s rescue. While Tolgey scored twice, Penn, the best player on view on the pitch, struck the fourth goal.
The third was scored by Collins Abranches with a fine move down the right.
Army Green took the lead in the fourth minute through Sanatan Singh, but Mohammedan Sporting pressed hard and equalised in the 26th minute when Tolgey, after missing two sitters, finally managed to find the net. The Australian put his team ahead with another strike in the 35th minute, but Green hit back to restore parity in the 52nd minute through Subrata Sarkar. Thereafter, Mohammedan Sporting regrouped and scored twice to earn three points.