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I-League Qualifier: Mohammedan SC have it easy against ARA FC in their second match

I-League Qualifier: Mohammedan SC have it easy against ARA FC in their second match

Sayan Chatterjee

Published: 11 Oct 2020 11:08 AM GMT

Yan Law’s Mohammedan SC recorded a comfortable 4-1 victory against Ahmedabad-based ARA FC on Sunday in the third match of the I-League qualifiers held in Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata. The Black Panthers dominated proceedings from the get-go, creating a number of genuine goal scoring opportunities throughout the match.

The first goal came at the 13 minute mark, after some good work by Vanlalbiaa Chhangte down the right after. He took on a couple of defenders and fleshed out a great cutback for Willis Plaza to score (1-0). The ARA FC defenders had a tough time working out the constant movement from Sk Faiaz, Abhishek Rijal and forward Willis Plaza, in what was their first match of the tournament. It wasn’t until the 14th minute that ARA, which stands for Ahmedabad Racquet Association for the uninitiated, could carve out their first chance of the match when a weak shot from striker Pratik Swami was saved easily by Mohammedan keeper Priyant Kumar Singh. Soon after, Mohammedan’s Hira Mondal found himself through on goal and forced a good save from Protip Das.

Mohammedan were controlling the game from their midfield and were happy building up slowly from the back and dictating the tempo of the match. That was until ARA’s Stanley Eze broke through down the right, but couldn’t find the correct pass for his teammate who would have been through on goal. The second Mohammedan goal came soon after, a long diagonal from the middle found Chhangte on the right, he delivered a delightful cross into the box which found its way to Hira Mondal on the left, the defender dribbled past the ARA FC right-back before laying off a pass right in front of goal. The defender seemed to have reached it first but Abhishek Rijal managed to win it back before slotting it into an almost open net (2-0). The Nepal U-22 prospect, dubbed the Nepali Ronaldo, along with Chhangte, were again at their very best when just before half-time the duo displayed some wonderful understanding and movement inside the box for Abhishek to finish calmly for his second goal (3-0).

The second half continued in a similar vein with Mohammedan comfortable sitting on their lead and ARA not able to create genuine chances. Finally in the 53rd minute, ARA FC found the net against the run of play when a Mohammedan corner turned into a promising counter-attacking opportunity. Pratik Swami latched on to the loose ball, carried it 25 yards before trying to lay it off for Stanley Eze. His pass was intercepted by Sujit Sadhu, but all he could manage to do was wrong-foot his own goalkeeper who had already started moving towards Eze (3-1). The final score was just a formality from thereon, and with just two minutes left on the clock, Mohammedan midfielder Shamsad Ali latched onto a loose touch by Prabin Tigga and laid it off for Sk Faiaz who beat the goalkeeper easily (4-1).

ARA FC head coach Vivek Nagul was left to rue his team’s defending down the flanks while a seemingly content Yan Law was quick to downplay his team’s chances, instead asking for more focus and concentration from his boys ahead of his team’s upcoming clashes. The resurgent Black Panthers have 6 points from two games and face Bhawanipore FC and FC Bengaluru United next. ARA FC square off against FCBU in Kalyani on Wednesday and will look to improve upon a rusty opening day performance.

Also read: Manipuri defender Bikash Yumnam finds a place in The Guardian’s NextGen 2020 list

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