Mohammedan Sporting are back to where they belong. The Kolkata giants defeated Goa’s Vasco SC 1-0 at the Kalyani Stadium to qualify for the main phase of the Federation Cup.
Sporting who needed just a draw to make it to the main round scored through Suman Chandra Dey in the 81st minute. Courtsey the win, they topped Group A on 6 points as they won both their matches. Vasco and Ar-Hima Club finished on one point apiece.
In the main phase, Mohammedan Sporting have been clubbed with defending champions Kingfisher East Bengal, Dempo Sports Club and Pune FC in Group C. The Group, which has already been touted as the Group of Death, would play their matches in Kolkata.
Sporting coach Aloke Mukherjee sounded jubilant after the victory. “I am very happy. But the team needs to improve,” he said. “We played 55 to 60 per cent of our potential. I’m happy because we have defeated the teams which defeated us last time. Our foreigners are still not fully fit and once they come into their elements the team will play much better.”
“Today we played well against a quality side, but this is the beginning. The matches are going to get tougher in the next round so there is no place for complacency,” he added.
For the record, Mohammedan Sporting have won the Federation Cup twice – in 1983 and 1984 and have finished runners-up thrice – in 1981, 1989 and 2003. Time for another triumph? Well, the connoisseurs won’t mind that.
(AIFF Press Release)