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Ashim nets the winner

Ashim Biswas

Calcutta: With the I-League in hibernation, the CFL is the ideal platform for the city clubs to prepare for the Federation Cup, which is to be held next month.

But barring East Bengal, the other city teams hardly appear to be in good health. Take the case of Mohammedan Sporting. They won their CFL Premier Division match against Peerless SC on Monday, but during their 1-0 victory they couldn’t give a good account of themselves.

The Peerless team, perhaps, would not even match the weakest team in the I-League. But the way back-passes dominated Mohammedan Sporting’s game on Monday, one wonders if they are aware at all of the way forward. True, there wasn’t a Penn Orji or a Joshimar in the line-up, but then the Syed Rahim Nabis are no amateurs and a lot is expected from them.

Had the Peerless players not behaved like nervous kids in front of the goal, they could have easily got the lead on Monday. Striker Rufus had a chance early in the match but messed it up. Thereafter, they forged quite a few moves which fell apart near the rival box.

Peerless were unlucky when Biswadeep Das’ free-kick, in the 24th minute, kissed the cross-piece and flew over.

Mohammedan Sporting got the goal quite against the run of play. In the 31st minute, Khantang Paite essayed a decent cross from the left and Ashim Biswas outjumped the rival defenders to head it in from close.

The goal, however, didn’t transform Mohammedan Sporting’s game. They showed a bit more urgency, but the barrage of back-passes meant that they progressed very little.

The second-half saw aggressive football from both the sides. It was all foul and nothing fair as neither team could create a proper opening.

For new Mohammedan Sporting coach Sanjoy Sen, who takes charge from the end of this month, giving this team a sense of direction might be the priority. Man of the Match Ashim, though, believes that the team is shaping up well.

Teams

Mohammedan Sporting: Luis Barreto, Dhanarajan, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Luciano Sabrosa, Nirmal Chetri, Khantang Paite (Ishfaq Ahmed, 79), Anthony Soren, Rakesh Masih, Israil Gurung, Ashim Biswas, Syed Rahim Nabi

Peerless SC: Satish Singh, Mosso Murmu, Richard Gariseb, Amiya Mondal, Munna Mallick (Juber Ali, 83), Zoheb Hasan, Debayan Saha, Anil Kisku, Gopal Debnath, Biswadeep Das (Avidhan Chakraborty, 44; Binod Bauri, 76), Rufus

Referee: Subrata Barman

MoM: Ashim Biswas