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

Mohammedan Sporting ride on Kouassi fifer to revive semifinal hopes

Mohammedan Sporting Club's Desmos Arthur Kouassi celebrating one of his goals in the Durand Cup 2019. (Photo courtesy: Mohammedan Sporting Club)
Mohammedan Sporting Club's Desmos Arthur Kouassi celebrating one of his goals in the Durand Cup 2019. Photo courtesy: Mohammedan Sporting Club

Mohammedan Sporting Club will have all to play for in their final Durand Cup 2019 Group B match against ATK on August 16 after thrashing Indian Navy 6-2 to revive their hopes of a semifinal place.

The victory took their tally to three points at second place. Mohammedan Sporting will need to win and hope the Mariners falter against Indian Navy, for them to go through.

The big win was powered by Arthur Kouassi’s fifer. The Ivorian was well supported by Musa Mudde, who not only excelled in his role as secondary striker but also contributed with a goal.

The first-half was a rather evenly balanced affair, although Mohammedan looked the more likely to find the back of the net. Kouassi looked dangerous whenever in possession of the ball, while Samsad Ali and Vanlalbiaa Chhangte made some excellent runs off the ball. Satyam Sharma, meanwhile, was again fighting hard in his defensive midfield role.

Both teams started the game a bit tentative, with no real opportunities for either side in the first 25 minutes of play, except for a shot at goal from Kouassi in the 7th minute which was blocked by a defender. This slight chance came after some good work on the right flank from Samsad.

However, after 30 minutes the game opened up. First it was Navy that got a fine opportunity in a counter-attacking move and, straight thereafter, Mohammedan got a chance via Musa, however, the Ugandan failed to connect properly with the ball.

Kouassi’s ferocious shot at goal in the 42nd minute also failed to find the back of the net, while, on the other side of the pitch, Moniruzzaman Ansari made a great save to take care that Navy didn’t score the first goal of the match.

The second-half started as a continuation of the first, with Navy preferring to sit back and catch Mohammedan on the break.

Slowly, Mohammedan upped the tempo and the pressure on Navy goal. Various good opportunities came the home side’s way, with the best coming for Musa and Kouassi.

Mohammedan continued to press on, and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 55th minute though Kouassi.

From the goal onwards, Mohammedan dominated the proceedings and doubled their lead just six minutes later when Musa slotted past Bhaskar Roy after some brilliant work.

Although Navy pulled a goal back though Britto PM in the 71st minute, but it was one way traffic as Mohammedan scored the third goal in the very next minute though Kouassi.

The scoring spree did not end there as Kouassi increased the lead further after striking home in the 76th minute to complete his first hat-trick in Mohammedan colors.

Meanwhile, Navy had a couple of good opportunities to reduce the margin but all their attempts have been stifled by the well organised Mohammedan defense led by Kareem Omolaja.

Mohammedan SC didn’t take their foot off the accelerator and continued to dominate proceedings as Kouassi added two more respectively in the 85th and 90th minute.

Navy, meanwhile, pulled a goal though Britto when he converted from the spot in stoppage time.

(Mohammedan Sporting Club)