Mohammedan Sporting Club defeated local rivals Bhowanipore FC 3-0 in their Second Division League opener on Saturday afternoon.
Debutante Sanjib Ghosh (2′), John Chidi (26′) and Satyam Sharma (80′) were on target for the Black Panthers at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium.
Nobody was doubting Mohammedan Sporting’s talent and credentials going into the game, however it’s hard to imagine many could foresee the relentless way they went about their work, from the outset till the final whistle, as they dismantled their opponent.
Mohammedan Sporting started the match with more purpose as they threw everything they had to impose their will on their opponents during the early exchanges.
And their efforts were soon rewarded in the 2nd minute when Sanjib rounded Bhowanipore FC custodian Arup Debnath to slot home from close range.
Conceding so soon rattled Bhowanipore FC and it took a fair while for the team to settle into the game as Mohammedan Sporting controlled the action keeping Bhowanipore Sporting contained in their half, and making sure Arup was kept busy.
Bhowanipore FC, however, didn’t lose focus and on a couple of occasions seemed like they could be on track to equalize. Jagannath Sana threatened Mohammedan Sporting’s goal several times throughout the first-half, creating some half chances inside the penalty area, but the Mohammedan Sporting defenders were quick to the ball and made the clearance any time it came near goal.
Inevitably, failing to convert their chances came back to haunt Bhowanipore FC as they fell even further behind when Vanlalbiaa Chhangte latched onto a long ball behind the defence, beat his marker to pull back to an arriving Chidi who neatly slotted past Arup in the 26th minute.
Mohammedan Sporting’s spirits were lifted by the goal and they played out the remainder of the first-half with a lot of energy, which they brought with them when they returned from the break.
Going into the second-half the Black Panthers continued to apply pressure and made some decent runs forward. Bhowanipore FC, however, are not a side to give up lightly and despite trailing by two goals kept the intensity high, and the pressure on their opponents as they battled to find a way back into the match.
Nonetheless, the lack of finishing in the attacking third and outstanding defending from Mohammedan Sporting meant Bhowanipore FC could not find a goal as reward for their early dominance.
Bhowanipore FC continued to show their fighting spirit as they pushed hard to find a goal which would keep them in the match, but between some solid defending and the safe hands of skipper Priyant Singh, meant the attackers were unable to get an edge on their opponent.
Mohammedan Sporting defence looked comfortable in absorbing Bhowanipore FC’s attacking pressure, while looking to catch their opponents off-guard on the counter.
As the clock counted down, Bhowanipore FC threw everything they had to get back into the game forcing a number of saves from Priyant, however Mohammedan Sporting flexed their scoring muscles once again in the 80th minute when Satyam scored a long ranger to put the result beyond any doubt.
Black Panthers will host Bengaluru FC Reserves next on February 11 on the Kolkata Maidans.