|Joshimar, after his goal at the Barasat Stadium, on Wednesday. A Telegraph picture
Calcutta: Joshimar and Khanthang Paite were on target as Mohammedan Sporting beat Railway FC 2-0 victory in a CFL Championship Round match, at the Barasat Stadium, on Wednesday.
Both the goals came in the first half itself as Mohammedan Sporting, with this victory, moved up to No. 3 in the league table, having secured 14 points from six matches.
Agreed, the opposition was weak. Still, Joshimar’s return to form has certainly brought in some relief for coach Abdul Aziz Moshood. Mohammedan Sporting started without key figures like Tolgay Ozebe (hamstring injury), Syed Rahim Nabi, Penn Orji and Ishfaq Ahmed.
Tolgay wasn’t even in the 18-man squad and so was Nabi. Penn and Ishfaq warmed up after the breather, but their services weren’t needed as the likes of Joshimar, Paite and Israil Gurung proved too hot to handle for Railway FC.
Joshimar timed his jump to perfection to head home an accurate corner from Paite, taking Mohammedan Sporting ahead in the 17th minute. Paite then got his name on the scoresheet within five minutes.
Occupying an ideal position inside the six-yard circle, Paite converted with a left-footer off a Joshimar set-up, after the Brazilian received a long ball to perfection.
Throughout the game, Moshood’s men were all over their rivals, who tend to concede in bulk whenever they are up against any of the ‘Big Three’. It was primarily due to their goalkeeper Ranjit Jana that Railway FC could restrict their opponents to just two goals.
Ranjit made three excellent blockings to thwart the attempts of Israil Gurung, Paite and the likes. Towards the end of first half, Joshimar fed Gurung with a wonderful opportunity before Ranjit dived to deflect the right-footer.
Soon after, he came up with another save, as on this occasion, it was a Paite header from Ashim Biswas’ centre.
Mohammedan Sporting, however, were denied a goal as well, late in the second half, as substitute Dipendu Biswas was ruled offside. A header from substitute Ajay Singh came off the crosspiece and Joshimar was quick to slot the rebound home. But Dipendu being clearly offside, referee Uttam Sarkar was spot-on in disallowing the goal.
Moshood was pretty satisfied with the team’s effort. A convincing win of this type should certainly provide Mohammedan Sporting with an impetus to put up better shows in the I-League, where they haven’t found the going to be easy.
“For sure, it’s a pleasing victory… No doubt about it. Importantly, we won this game despite the absence of some of our star players. Players, who got the opportunity today, ensured they stood up and made themselves counted. It was really good to see the youngsters deliver.
“Moreover, performances such as these provide a balanced look to our team and create more options, too. We don’t have to rely on the same XI time and again,” the coach emphasised.
Moshood didn’t want to look back at the events that threatened troubled times for his team after a barren draw with Dempo last week. “That is past. I don’t want to look back. I just want the team to keep on playing well. That’s my goal. I’ve taken up this coaching job to help the club gain more and more success. At the end of the day, I need to make sure the team is successful because success is what matters,” he elaborated.
Talking about Tolgay’s absence, Moshood said: “He is carrying an injury. The physio has advised him a five-day rest. I’m confident he’ll recover fast.”