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Mohammedan register fourth straight draw after stalemate against Neroca
Kalyani, February 3, 2021
Mohammedan Sporting’s troubles in front of goal continued as the Black Panthers failed to score in their second consecutive game and drew for the fourth straight match against Neroca at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium here today.
Custodian Shubham Roy made key stops to keep the scoreline tied against the Manipuri side and was named the Hero of the Match for his efforts.
Mohammedan made four changes after their goalless draw against RoundGlass Punjab, bringing in Faisal Ali, Arijit Bagui, Sanjib Ghosh and Suraj Rawat. Neroca, who themselves lost 1-2 to Aizawl also made a bunch of changes, with Shoaib Akhtar, Gobin Singh, Varun Thokchom, Benjamin Lupheng, Manjit Sharma and Deepak Singh all coming into the playing eleven.
The earliest glimpse on goal came in the 4th minute when Sanjib Ghosh’s long ranger was saved with ease by Neroca keeper Bishrojit Singh. In the 12th minute, Mohammedan’s Suraj Rawat made a dazzling run into the area but he could not deliver his cross as he ran out of touch.
The first threatening chance of the game fell to Khangam Horam in the 28th minute but the Neroca striker could not find the target with his header. Five minutes later, Mohammedan found an opening through SK Faiaz’s cross but Neroca’s Shoaib Akhtar read it well and cleared it before the Black Panthers attackers could pounce in it.
Mohammedan SC made a late push in the first half for the opening goal through Faisal Ali but he could not find any of his teammates at the key moment.
After the opening minutes, which saw end-to-end football, both teams settled down and fought hard for possession. The game turned into a physical battle as at the end of the first half, with both teams conceding as many as 20 fouls.
Mohammedan came forward with attacking intent in the early minutes of the second half. They won a string of corners but hardly troubled the Orange Brigade backline. They again troubled the Neroca defence in the 57th minute as Arjit Bagui’s cross found Sanjib Ghosh in the centre of the box. However, the midfielder’s mishit volley hardly caused any trouble.
Neroca came the closest to scoring in the 70th minute after Songpu Singsit was fouled just outside the area by Asheer Akhtar. Jiteshwor Singh’s shot from the free-kick, however, skimmed the top of the bar and went out for a goal kick.
Mohammedan held most of the possession but it was Neroca who looked more likely to score on the counter. Khangam Horam pounced on a long clearance and if it weren’t for Shubham Roy’s outstretched hand, he would have scored a late winner.
The Black Panthers then woke up and forced two saves from Bishorjit Singh — through substitute Gourav Mukhi’s long-range shot followed by Hira Mondal’s troubling cross. Neroca pushed for a late winner but Shubham Roy again denied Judah Garcia from scoring the opener in the 87th minute.
It was the last piece of action as both teams then settled for a point each at the final whistle.
Mohammedan take their points tally to seven, keeping them in the Top 6 while Neroca are two points behind at five points in five games.