| Syed Rahim Nabi struggles to breach the Railway FC defence in Tuesday’s Super Division clash at Salt Lake Stadium. Mohammedan Sporting won 1-0. Picture by Santosh Ghosh
Calcutta: A long-ranger, taken more in hope rather than with any great intent, bailed out Mohammedan Sporting in their CFL Super Division clash with Railway FC at Salt Lake Stadium Tuesday afternoon.
Satish Minz’s 30-yard shot, which took wings and dipped in to beat Rabindranath Poddar in the 22nd minute, ensured Mohammedan Sporting’s return to winning ways after being sunk by Calcutta Port Trust last week.
The bottomline was satisfactory, but there was hardly any spark in the Mohammedan Sporting performance. Communication among the medios was non-existent, the strikers — denied a regular supply of passes — didn’t show the inclination to fall back and create something on their own, even the reliable central defenders and goalkeeper were exposed by the occasional railway bursts.
It’s been the same story in all three matches Mohammed Habeeb’s boys have played so far. There have been the occasional individual spark — like a Bungo Singh sprint-and-shoot routine, a Dipendu Biswas back-volley attempt, or a Minz solo down the right flank. But the players have shown no signs of gelling as a team.
The goal apart, two chances came Mohammedan Sporting’s way in the first session. Arjan Ali failed to utilise a smart Nabi pass with the Railway FC custodian well out of position, while Bungo’s snap left-footer sailed a tad too high.
The best piece of combination play in the black-and-white ranks came 15 minutes into the second session. Nabi, getting the ball at the end of a Dipendu-Khaled Siddiqui ‘duet’, went too wide and hit the side-netting.
Nabi was again in good position to head in a rare Amjad Ali Khan cross from right, but it lacked direction and travelled straight to Poddar one bounce. Sheikh Sanjib, coming in for an off-form Dipendu, did worse with a Minz centre — nodding it wide of target.
Railway FC displayed more purpose in their build-ups, with Dulal Patra, Gourab Datta and Lakshman Ghosh playing short, accurate passes to threaten the Mohammedan Sporting defence.
A free-kick in the 33rd minute had the experienced Bivash Ghosh fumbling badly. The ball, in fact, slipped out of his grasp and Hussain Mustafi had to make a desperate clearance. After change of ends, it was Bivash’s turn to avert danger as Patra slipped past Mustafi and Satish Bharti.
MOHAMMEDAN SPORTING: Bivash Ghosh, Amjad Ali Khan, Satish Bharti, Hussein Mustafi, Falguni Datta (Amandeep Singh, 63), Bungo Singh, Satish Minz, Khaled Siddiqui, Arjan Ali (Surjit Singh, 46), Syed Rahim Nabi, Dipendu Biswas (Sheikh Sanjib, 78).
RAILWAY FC: Rabindranath Poddar, Pinku Das, Dipayan Majumdar, Sankar Das, Sundar Mandi, Bablu Banik (Dinesh Swar, 36), Alauddin Rahman, Subhronil Datta (Uttam Debnath, 62), Gourab Datta, Lakshman Ghosh (Kajal Nandy, 71), Dulal Patra.
Referee: Debasish Sarkar.