THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Mohamedan Sporting go down to league leaders Neroca FC

Mohammedan Sporting Club

Mohammedan Sporting Club tasted their first defeat in the ongoing Second Division League as the Black Panthers went down 1-2 to leaders Neroca FC in their Eastern Conference Round 5 encounter played at the Khuman Lampak Main Stadium in Imphal on Saturday afternoon.

After a barren first-half the hosts surged ahead through Joseph Ikechukwu (49′) only for super-sub Ajay Singh (72′) to restore the parity for the visitors but a injury time goal from Moirangthem Ashok Singh (90’+2′) ensured full three points for the hosts.

Going into the game Mohammedan Sporting coach Subrata Bhattacharya Jr. made five changes from the side that beat Fateh Hyderabad on Tuesday handing starts to goalkeeper Sourav Chakrabory, Tonmoy Ghosh, Rana Gharami, Basanta Singh and Bisheshwor Singh.

It was an evenly contested affair in the first session where both teams had their moments but neither of them could to find the breakthrough as both teams went into the half-time break with a goalless draw.

Neroca FC, however, took the lead only four minutes into the second half courtesy to Joseph Ikechukwu, who scored a stunner which saw Mohammedan trailing first time in the competition.

Having suffered the jolt Subrata Bhattacharya Jr. threw Ajay into the action replacing Mumtaz Akhar in the 52nd minute. The Punjabi striker, who scored the winner against Fateh Hyderabad, netted the equaliser this time in the 72nd minute from Imran Khan’s pass.

Thereafter, both teams were seen losing temper often during the last quarter of the game which led the referee to give marching orders to Mohammedan striker Taurus Manneh and Neroca FC custodian L. Ashok Singh. Following the red card to the Neroca FC keeper, outrageous home fans started throwing bottles onto the field which halted the game for few minutes.

Neroca FC, who used their all three substitutions prior to the sent-off were forced to use striker Ronald Singh as a goalkeeper for the final eight minutes of the game. But the drama doesn’t end there as Moirangthem Ashok Singh struck the late winner for the hosts which secured them 3 points to remain top of the league table with 10 points.

Mohammedan Sporting, who are second in the table on 7 points will host Fateh Hyderabad next on Saturday.