Mohammedan Sporting Club went down 2-0 against ATK Reserves in the 2nd Division League opener on Saturday at Kalyani Stadium.
Thomyo L. Shimray (26′) and Sheikh Azaruddin (59′) scored on the either side of the pitch for ATK Reserves.
The game started at a furious pace with Mohammedan Sporting‚ as expected‚ pressing high to nullify ATK’s effort to rapidly circulate the ball. It was a fascinating tactical battle although‚ at times‚ a little predictable. Reluctantly there was a lot of possession turn over and not enough in the way of scoring chances.
The first real opportunity came after 11 minutes when ATK goalkeeper Jedidi Haokip made a save from Philip Adjah‚ who had done well to turn the defense and put himself into a shooting position. But the Ghanaian forward failed to get any real power behind his shot.
On the 15th minute mark‚ Adjah hit a wild effort from a tight angle well off target and six minutes later Balwinder Singh rose unchallenged to head a corner narrowly wide.
While Mohammedan Sporting pressed high up, opponents ATK managed to take the lead against the run of the play at the other end. Thomyo L. Shimray capitalised on a defensive error to beat Black Panthers custodian Laltu Mondal in the 26th minute.
Having conceded, Mohammedan Sporting began attacking with intensity through Adjah, Pankaj and Safiul Rahman but rivals ATK managed to hold on defending deep as the first-half ended 1-0.
ATK goalkeeper Jedidi Haokip was a spectator in the first-half, but he saw more action in the second, keeping out an angled drive from Adjah before twice having to punch away an awkward aerial ball in the 54th minute as Mohammedan Sporting began to put more pressure on the ATK defense looking for the equaliser.
Despite the momentum turning in Mohammedan Sporting’s favour, ATK fought back to add a second when Sheikh Azaruddin slotted from a free-kick in the 59th minute.
Mohammedan Sporting, to their credit, never gave up but it appeared as if getting on the score sheet just wasn’t to be for the side today with every shot went anywhere but on target as ATK held on on for a well-deserved win.
ATK’s Sumit Rathi, who was responsible for blocking most of Mohammedan Sporting’s advances, was named Hero of the match.
(Mohammedan Sporting Club)