Calcutta: In the first place, it was their repeated below-par performances that had pegged back United SC and Mohammedan Sporting in this I-League. Together with that, a heat wave sweeping across the state made it even more difficult for players of both sides to try and put up a commendable show.
In the end, the game ended 1-1, at the Kalyani Stadium, on Saturday, with Mohammedan Sporting being the side having plenty to think about, as they stayed at the bottom of the table. The situation is gradually getting worse for Sanjoy Sen’s men with only 18 points from 20 appearances, while United SC — now on 22 points — require another couple of points that will, more or less, dispel relegation fears.
Post the three-minute drinks break during the first half, Mohammedan Sporting upped the ante with Penn Orji and Taro Hasegawa keeping the rival defence on its toes. The hard work paid off as Penn got his team the lead in the 44th minute, poking the ball home from a melee after Joshimar somehow managed to released the ball.
Mohammedan Sporting’s joy was short-lived as almost immediately after Penn’s strike, Biswajit Biswas got the equaliser. Getting ample room to take a crack at the goal, thanks to some scrappy defending opposition fullbacks, Biswajit unleashed a grounder from the edge of the box.
Mohammedan Sporting had the numerical advantage as well over their opponents when midfielder Lalkamal Bhowmick was given marching orders in the 71st minute for a second yellow card, when he handled the ball. Yet, Mohammedan Sporting had to return home with just one point. And for that, they have only themselves to blame.
Mohammedan Sporting: Luis Baretto, Nirmal Chetri, Luciano Sabrosa, Sandeep Sangha, Syed Rahim Nabi; Monirul Mondal (Israil Gurung, 32, Ashim Biswas, 71), Samson Ramengmawia, Manish Maithani, Taro Hasegawa (Ishfaq Ahmed, 87); Penn Orji, Joshimar
United SC: Abhijit Das (Jayanta Paul, 32), Deepak Mondal, Bello Rasaq, Dhanachandra Singh, Sukhen Dey; Mohammed Rafique (Arjun Chatterjee, 60, Hasan Al-Moustapha, 73), Lalkamal Bhowmick, Tapan Maity, Biswajit Biswas; Eric Brown, Adekunle Waheed
Referee: M.B. Santosh Kumar
MoM: Bello Rasaq