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Mohammedan stage comeback against TRAU, Real Kashmir hold Sudeva to a draw
Kalyani, January 19, 2021
Mohammedan Sporting came from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw against TRAU while Real Kashmir also played a 1-1 draw with Sudeva Delhi in Hero I-League matches at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium in Kalyani on Tuesday.
In the match between Mohammedan and TRAU, goals by Komron Tursunov in the 2nd minute and Helder Lobato in first-half stoppage time were cancelled out by Nikhil Kadam’s and Hira Mondal’s headers in the 58th and 68th minute, respectively, as both teams shared points at the end of the 90 minutes.
In the other encounter, a wonder strike by Sudeva forward Shaiborlang Kharpan from 35 yards out was cancelled out by Real Kashmir's Mason Robertson in the 75th minute, as both teams shared the spoils of battle in a cagey match where chances were rare.
TRAU were given the chance to go ahead in the very first minute itself after Komron Tursunov’s header went inches over the bar. Sixty seconds later, Komron slotted home from close range, latching on to a rebound after a defensive error handed TRAU possession of the ball just outside the opposition’s penalty box.
It could have been three goals for TRAU in under 15 minutes had the Manipur outfit taken their chances. In the 11th minute, another howler in the defence gave Komron the ball. With only the opposition custodian to beat, the Tajik forward shot wide of goal.
In added time at the end of the first half, TRAU were given a corner and Komron Tursunov’s delivery was thumped home by an unmarked Helder Lobato, who doubled the Manipuri side’s lead going into half-time.
Trailing 0-2, the Kolkata giants committed bodies in attack to salvage at least a point from the game. In the 56th minute, Suraj Rawat tried to play a through-ball to Gourav Mukhi, but TRAU’s defence was present to saw off the danger.
In the 58th minute, a corner for Mohammedan created havoc in the TRAU defence. With no defender able to clear the ball, the chance fell to Nikhil Kadam, whose quick reactions saw him produce a diving header to slot the ball home as the Black Panthers reduced their deficit.
With momentum on their side, it was only a matter of time before Mohammedan pounced for the equalizer. In the 68th minute, that equalizer came after Sarkar found Hira Mondal on the far post with a looping cross and the defender headed home to put the game back to level pegging.
Though the Black Panthers searched for the goal that would give them the lead, TRAU bolstered their defence and thwarted balls long at the sight of danger. With neither team able to create a clear goal-scoring opportunity the game finished as it started, all square — as both teams registered a point each.
Real Kashmir had a chance in the 10th minute when Danish Farooq pounced a loose ball and ran towards the byline to whip in a cross. His delivery missed the Kashmir forwards as well as the opposition goalkeeper as the ball went out of play. In the 12th minute, a header off a free-kick went wide of the Sudeva Delhi goal as Real Kashmir hunted for an early lead.
With Real Kashmir dominating possession in the final third, Sudeva Delhi FC looked to stop their forwards by committing bodies in defence. The Delhi outfit sat back and soaked pressure, clearing away loose balls and rarely found a sniff of the Kashmir goal.
Kean Lewis, who had been a bright spark for Sudeva Delhi FC in the last two matches, was well marked by the opposition defence, making life extremely difficult for the winger on the flank.
In the 19th minute, Sudeva Delhi FC had their first shot on target when Shaiborlang Kharpan’s first-time attempt brought out a decent save from the opposition custodian. Dangerous in counter-attack, Sudeva Delhi tried to once again breach the citadel, this time from distance in the 21st minute. However, their attempts were still kept out by the goalkeeper.
Although Real Kashmir dominated possession, the David Robertson-coached team had little to show for their efforts. The half-time scoreline read 0-0 as both teams went into the tunnel on level pegging.
The complexion of the match did not change much in the second half. As both teams played cautiously and rotated possession from wing to wing, chances became rare.
It needed something special to change the complexion of the match and that something special came in the 62nd minute. Shaiborlang Kharpan picked up the ball almost 35 yards out and released an inch-perfect shot which crashed into the right top corner of the net to hand Sudeva Delhi FC the lead. In the 72nd minute, Kharpan tried the spectacular once again, this time his shot went wide as he tried to first-time volley a cross from the left flank.
Real Kashmir however did not have to wait a lot for the equalizer. In the 75th minute, Sena Ralte found Mason Robertson, who had to shoot from a tight angle, but the lanky defender made the most of it and fired his effort between the legs of the opposition custodian to bag a leveller for the Kashmir outfit.
The full-time score line read 1-1 as both teams shared the spoils of battle.