| The three Mohammedan Sporting scorers (from left) Rahim Nabi, Dipendu Biswas and Sheikh Sanjib at Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday. Picture by Santosh Ghosh
Calcutta: A vintage performance helped Mohammedan Sporting wallop Salgaocar 5-0 on Wednesday and made them the first team to make the Tata Federation Cup semi-finals.
Sheikh Sanjib and Dipendu Biswas scored a brace each and Syed Rahim Nabi the fifth as the black-and-white brigade humiliated the National Football League runners-up. Mohammedan Sporting, in fact, shut out the Goan side in the first half itself with three goals.
With a shell-shocked Salgaocar increasing manpower in the rival box after change of ends, the city outfit made most of the situation to add two more on counter-attacks.
“Frankly speaking, the scoreline was beyond expectation. It was too good a result,” remarked an elated P.K. Banerjee, who joined as Mohammedan Sporting’s technical adviser last week.
“The boys put up a cohesive display today. Despite the miserable ground conditions, they were always close to the ball and that made the difference,” was coach Md Habeeb’s observation.
Though all three strikers contributed, it was Sanjib’s day. The former TFA trainee scored two, missed many more. What was good about him was his hunger for goal. Like a true striker, he was always roving in and around the penalty area. Whenever a cross landed inside the box, he made sure of reaching the ball. The slushy conditions in the penalty box at both ends made life difficult, but he was a constant threat to Salgaocar.
This also meant Mohammedan Sporting enjoyed considerable territorial advantage whenever they were on attack. Khaled Siddiqui and Bungo Singh made brilliant use of the wings, feeding the trio of Sanjib, Dipendu and Nabi constantly. The Goan outfit failed to keep a check on the marauding forwardline. The first goal came in the 24th minute. In a sweeping move, Amjad Ali Khan fed Bungo on the right. The latter loped up and his minus was perfect for Sanjib to prod home.
The first goal came when Dipendu converted a brilliant minus from Nabi. Within seconds, a lurking Sanjib shot home with his outstep after Salgaocar custodian Rajat Ghosh Dastidar blocked a Siddiqui piledriver on top of the box.In the 69th minute, Nabi made it 4-0 and within two minutes, Dipendu added another to his as well as team’s tally.
Md. Sporting: K.M. Refeek; Amjad Ali Khan, Hussain Mustafi, Habib Adekunle, Amandeep Singh; Bungo Singh, Iqbal Khan, Khaled Siddiqui; Rahim Nabi, Sheikh Sanjib (Dipankar Chatterjee, 72), Dipendu Biswas.
Salgaocar SC: Rajat Ghosh Dastidar (Rajat Guha, 75); Anthony Pereira (Remus Gomes, 46), Roberto Fernandes, Prasanth Jaggi, Bello Rezaq; Tomba Singh, Climax Lawrence (Bernard Pires, 79), Jatin S. Bist, Dharamjit Singh; Samson Singh, Sebastiao Endro.
Referee: S. Suresh (Tamil Nadu).