Calcutta: Mohammedan Sporting are still alive.
A goal down, they rode strikes from Taro Hasegawa and Penn Orji to record a fantastic 2-1 win over Mumbai FC, at the Balewadi Sports Complex ground, in Pune, on Sunday.
The win keeps Mohammedan Sporting afloat in the I-League. And if Churchill Brothers fail to beat Salgaocar on Monday, Mohammedan Sporting will be confirmed a berth in next season’s I-League as well.
Having ended their campaign, Mohammedan Sporting finished on 24 points, going a step ahead of Churchill at the standings.
Ebi Sukore had given Mumbai FC the lead with a neat header, but the home team’s lead lasted for just five minutes as Taro fired home a right-footer after Syed Rahim Nabi set him up. Five minutes before regulation time, Penn came up with the winner when his left-footer deflected off rival defender Anwar Ali and rolled into the net.
Without doubt, coach Sanjay Sen was ecstatic with this victory. “We got a lifeline today… Am really proud of how the boys played. It was a must-win tie and they responded brilliantly… Hats off to them for playing so well under a huge amount of pressure,” Sen said from Pune.
Mohammedan Sporting, meanwhile, will go to court should they get relegated from the I-League. Sen explained why.
“If we are relegated on the basis of the Churchill-Salgaocar match’s outcome, we’ll go to court challenging the result of our match versus Dempo, which we lost. The reason is, Dempo had breached the rules in that game by including our former player Tolgay (Ozebe) in their XI.
“If we didn’t include Rakesh Masih for our tie versus Salgaocar, why couldn’t Dempo do the same then?” Sen fumed.