Mohammedan Sporting Club went down fighting 0-2 to Southern Samity in their Preliminary Round Group-B fixture of the Second Division League at the Barasat Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Southern Samity took the lead in the first-half courtesy an Lancine Toure own-goal before Kalu Ogba Nnanna doubled the advantage late in the second-half to hand Mohammedan Sporting their second defeat in the league.
The result saw Southern Samity remain at the top of the table with nine points from four games while Mohammedan Sporting slipped to third spot on six points from four games.
Going into the game Mohammedan Sporting coach Ranjan Chaudhury made four changes to the side that beat Hindustan FC 1-0 last week as Reisangmei Vashum, Pranit Lama and Sheikh Faiaz filled in for Atinder Mani, Nitesh Chhikara and Mumtaz Akhtar while Laldampuia Tochhong came at the expense of Dipendu Dowary, who is suffering from chickenpox.
Mohammedan Sporting began the game cautiously and held firm at the back in the early exchanges. After a few half chances, Mohammedan Sporting had a close chances around the quarter hour mark when Laldampia’s long range effort was blocked by the rival custodian Sandip Nandy.
While Mohammedan Sporting continued pushing forward, Manvir Singh almost gave them the lead in the 24th minute but his spectacular shot from edge of the box but it flew over the bar. Meanwhile, at the other end, Southern Samity went ahead against the run of play when Toure scored an own goal in his attempt to clear Ronald Singh’s left sided cross in the 41st minute.
Having conceded, Mohammedan Sporting attacked with intensity through Leonce Dodoz and Manvir, but Southern Samity managed to hold on defending deep as the first half ended 1-0.
Mohammedan Sporting had a good start to the second-half and created a couple of chances early on but once again it was the finish that was lacking. Throughout the second session, multiple chances fell for Dodoz and Manvir, but the duo weren’t able to capitalise as Southern Samity preferred to consume time and see out the game.
Midway through the second-half, Mohammedan Sporting introduced Vanlabiaa Chhangte and Alexandre Tabillon to push for the elusive equaliser.
However, it was Southern Samity who doubled their lead in the 88th minute. Kalu collected the ball from midfield and ran past a couple of defenders before slotting into the far side of the net. Mohammedan Sporting threw everything they had at Southern Samity defence in the last few minutes of the game, but Southern Samity refused to give in and ended up having the last laugh.
Mohammedan Sporting next face Hindustan FC at the Barasat Municipal Stadium on Friday, February 17.