South Sudan striker James Moga struck the first hattrick of the Final Round as Mohammedan Sporting Club downed Gangtok Himalayan SC 3-1 in the Second Division League in Kolkata on Saturday.
Moga pumped three in the 44th, 74th and 90th minute to power the hosts to a spectacular win at Mohammedan Sporting ground, while for the visitors Zikahi Leonce Dodoz (80th) pulled a goal back.
Mohammedan Sporting head coach Subrata Bhattacharya Jr. made just one change to the starting XI that played goalless against Dempo two weeks ago, bringing in Biseshwor Singh for Manish Maithani. The change worked as Mohammedan Sporting produced the most dominant performance of the tournament so far.
Mohammedan SportingC started off strongly and did well to keep possession with pressing on in the rival half. Mohammedan Sporting had the best chance of the half to go ahead in the 29th minute when Ajay Singh did well to control the ball on the right before releasing it for Moga, whose effort was blocked by the rival keeper Sambhu Mistry at the near post.
Six minutes later the visitors came agonisingly close taking the lead but Nadong Bhutia’s shot from close range went straight into the hands of Mohammedan Sporting custodian Priyant Singh denying Gangtok Himalayan SC a sheer chance to go ahead.
However, Mohammedan Sporting did manage to find the breakthrough at the stroke of half time when a penalty was awarded to them following a foul on Antony Soren inside the 18-yard-box. Moga stepped up and slotted in the penalty kick to give his side one goal advantage at the interval.
Changing over Mohammedan Sporting continued to dictate terms and almost doubled their advantage within five minutes into the half but Tonmoy Ghosh’s shot from the edge of the box denied by the woodwork.
In search of an equalizer, Gangtok Himalayan SC also played an attacking game but in the process left a lot of gaps, which Mohammedan Sporting exploited and doubled the lead with Moga heading the ball home from a Imran Khan cross in the 74th minute.
Meanwhile, the visitors did pull a goal back through Dodoz who converted from the spot in the 80th minute. Moga then completed his as he slotted the ball home with a right footed grounder off a free-kick inside the box ensuring full three points for the hosts.
With this win, Mohammedan Sporting climb to fourth spot with 4 points from 4 games. While Gangtok Himalayan SC slipped to fifth position with 3 points from 5 games.
Mohammedan Sporting will host NEROCA FC next on April 29 at the same venue.