Second Division League side Mohammedan Sporting Club will cross swords with their Calcutta Football League rivals Army XI in the second semifinal of the ongoing All India Kalinga Cup 2016 at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Tuesday evening at 6pm. The winner would face local Odisha side Bidanasi Club.
Mohammedan Sporting, who participated in the competition from the quarterfinal stage, eased past BSF with a 4-1 to make it into the last four.
Army XI, on the other hand, are playing the tournament from the pre-quarterfinal round. First the Armymen beat Sports Hostel Cuttack 3-1 and then another Kolkata rival Kalighat Milan Sangha 2-0, on their way to the semifinals.
Going into the game, a hectic schedule stands as the main source of worry for the Black Panthers, who are playing their second match in just 48 hours, on top of that the Kolkata outfit will be missing their coach Subrata Bhattacharya Jr. on the dugout, who did not travelled with the team for medical issues.
However, in absence of coach Bhattacharya, senior players like James Moga and Mumtaz Akhtar stepped forward and took the initiative to guide the team.
“The coach’s presence always makes difference in such crucial games, and we would definitely miss our coach tomorrow, but we are professional players and we know our job which we have to do anyway,” Moga said on the eve of the clash.
“Army XI is a strong team and they have some very good players, so we have to give our best on the field in order to beat them.” the South Sudan international added.
For the record, Mohammedan Sporting and Army XI faced off three times during the season. While Army XI got the better of Mohammedan Sporting on two occasions, while one match ended goalless, which was also their last meeting back in August 2015 inn the Calcutta Premier Division.