Mohammedan Sporting – 3 (Faslu 38’ Abhishek Halder 71’ Sk. Faiaz 74’)
Jamshedpur FC- 0
Kolkata’s Mohammedan Sporting (MDSP) notched up their second consecutive win of the 131st Durand Cup, beating Indian Super League (ISL) side Jamshedpur FC (JFC) 3-0 in a Group A encounter at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan (KBK). The first ever Indian winners of the Cup, MDSP took the lead in the 38thminute of the first half through Faslu who scored his second of the tournament and then added two in three minutes of the second, through Abhishek Halder and Sk. Faiaz respectively to secure three points.
An even first-half with MDSP breaking through
Both teams began cautiously trying to gauge each other’s strengths. MDSP’s talismanic striker Trinidadian Marcus Joseph created a first chance from a free-kick at the half-hour mark which missed the mark.
Then came the goal off a corner. Sk. Faiaz floated the ball in and towering centre-back Siaruatkima, who also deservedly got the Man of the Match for a fantastic game in defence, headed towards goal. Mohit Singh Dhami the JFC keeper did parry it out but Faslu was lurking around and headed in the rebound.
JFC almost equalized when Vinil Poojary, who had a brilliant game, broke through into the MDSP box and crossed for Lalruatmawia who fluffed his side-footed connection, to see the ball balloon up and come back off the right upright. He had the Mohammedan keeper Sankar Roy at his mercy.
Home team turns it on
In the second half, MDSP brought on Abhishek Halder in place of Christy Davis and the former instilled energy in attack.
JFC in-fact were also in attack and Vinil Poojary missed a golden opportunity to equalize in the 66th minute after a fine cut-in inside the box and subsequent lay-off by substitute Nikhil Barla.
After an equal first 25 minutes or so, Marcus decided to turn it on.
Abhishek Halder, who had missed a gilt-edged opportunity just minutes earlier, snatched the ball off a JFC defender a few yards outside the box and headed forward. He saw Marcus to his left and played a lovely 1-2 with him to finish with a wonderful volley chipping over the keeper to double the lead.
It was soon 3-0 three minutes later, when Marcus found Faiaz with an impeccable through and the winger made no mistake with a clinical finish past Dhami. The game was now beyond JFC.
Report- Pratyusha Mukherjee