| Dipendu Biswas |
Calcutta: Mohammedan Sporting overcame some anxious moments before holding on to their 3-2 lead against United SC in the Calcutta Football League Premier Division championship round at the Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday.
Mohammedan Sporting led 3-0 at the breather, but United SC showed great resolve to come back strongly in the second session to score twice. Had referee Ajit Dutta not disallowed United SC’s Mohammed Rafique’s goal in injury time, citing off-side, the teams would have been forced to split points.
The disallowed goal led to United SC players and support staff criticising the referee’s supervision. There were protests inside the ground, but better sense prevailed.
Joshimar, Dipendu Biswas and Basanta Singh scored for Mohammedan Sporting while Souvik Chakraborty and Surajit Bose reduced the margin for United SC.
The first half belonged to Mohammedan Sporting, who capitalised on United SC’s defensive lapses. But the arrival of Bello Rasaq in the second session helped United SC plug the loopholes. With the forwardline showing more cohesion and co-ordination, it was one way traffic for United SC.
United SC’s off-side trap proved to be suicidal in the first session. Joshimar benefited as early as the 12th minute when he left the defenders dazed after latching on to a Samson Ramengdiawia through. He lobbed the ball over goalkeeper Abhijit Das’ head before scoring unchallenged.
Joshimar got into the act again in the 27 th minute on the left flank. The resultant cross was neatly placed into the net by Dipendu Biswas.
Basanta made it 3-0 10 minutes later. The United SC defence was left stranded again as he covered almost 20 yards, dribbled past the goalkeeper before tapping in.
It looked like it was all over for United SC. Even Mohammedan Sporting players seemed to believe so, leading to a certain amount of complacency in their ranks.
Souvik struck with a long ranger within seven minutes of resumption. Another seven minutes later, Surajit reduced the margin further.
Ranty Martins wasn’t fielded on Wednesday, but coach Eelco Schattorie brought in Eric Brown midway into the second session to add zeal to their attack. The move, however, didn’t click.
Mohammedan Sporting: Ashok Singh, Warundeep, Justine Stephen, Baldeep Singh, Khanthang Paite (Ajay Singh, 68), Samson Ramengdiawia, Basanta Singh, J. Prasad (Gagandeep Singh, 57), Noushad K, Dipendu Biswas (Tolgay Ozebe, 60), Joshimar.
United SC: Abhijit Das, Deepak Mondal., Bapi Saha, Anupam Sarkar (Rasaq Bello, 47), Sukhen Dey, Jayanta Sen, Vineeth CK (Eric Brown, 68), Surajit Bose, Md Rafique, Biswajit Biswas (Asif K, 84), Souvik Chakraborty.
Referee: Ajit Dutta.