Mohammedan SC pips Garhwal Heroes by a late minute winner – Match report

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A late winner from Mohammedan helps them clinch all three points against Garhwal FC

08th October 2020: After a thrilling first match in Salt Lake Stadium, where we had witnessed the local team thrashing out the boys from Bengaluru. Now, it was time to watch another local team Mohammedan Sporting Club who battled it out against Garhwal FC at Kalyani Municipal Stadium. Yan Law named a strong eleven with a 4-3-3 formation putting Priyant Singh under the sticks where Vikas Rawat fielded a team with a 4-5-1 formation giving Sayak Barai the much-needed start under the sticks and with three U-23 players in the starting XI, where the star-studded team of Mohammedan Sporting named two U-23 players in their starting XI. 

The Black Panthers pressed hard in the first quarter but the Garhwal defenders stood firmly. On the other side, experienced Eze Kingsley former I-League Champion was at Black panther’s defense who was there enough for the youngsters of Garhwal FC. Wilis Deon Plaza was failing to convert the chances he had received in the first half an hour, Satyam Sharma in the heart of Mohammedan midfield looked a bit shaky, Yan Law made an impactful change in the 36th minute of the game putting in Moinuddin Khan in place of Satyam Sharma. Ronald Singh along with Victor Philip was looking sharp in Garhwal’s attack but their all attack ends in Mohammedan’s defense. The first half remains deadlocked after both the teams missed out few opportunities, with 73%  ball possession in favor of the Black Panthers, both the teams had taken a shot once in the goal.

The Black Panthers looked refreshed at the start of the second half with the injection of fresh legs of Sk.Faiaz down the wing. The fourth quarter of the match was evenly poised, none of the teams looked like scoring. On the 64th minute of the game, former I-league champion Moinuddin Khan was tripped down inside the penalty box by Garhwal FC goal-keeper Sayak Barai and the referee signaled it towards the penalty spot. Willis Deon Plaza took the responsibility of giving the team a goal lead from the penalty spot but the experienced Trinidadian blasts it into the post, the score remained goal-less. While on the other side of the pitch, young attackers of Garhwal kept maintaining pressure at the Black Panthers’ defense. Uttam Rai got a golden chance two minutes before the regulation time to give Garhwal the most important three points, but he missed the chance. The referee gave a four-minute stoppage time. While everyone thought the second match of the Hero I-League qualifier would end in a stalemate, Mohammedan Sporting’s left-back Timothy Munmun Lugun blasted a left-footed long ranger which went past Garhwal goal-keeper Sayak Barai for the first time in the match. The sheer silence had come down on the opposition after a good fight against a mighty 100 year-old-club. The last-minute goal of Munmun Lugun gave Mohammedan Sporting a vital three points.

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“It’s not heart-break for Garhwal but we have learned many things and we’ll implement those things on the training pitch,” said Garhwal FC coach Vikas Rawat. “It was our first match post-COVID. We were a bit unlucky but hopefully, we take it forward from here,” said the winning coach Yan Law. Mohammedan now sits just below Bhawanipore FC in the points table, who won their first match against FC Bengaluru United by two goals. The Black Panthers will now face ARA FC from Gujarat on 11th October. 

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