Mohammedan Sporting started their I-League Qualifiers 2020 marketing campaign with a last-gasp 1-Zero victory towards Garhwal FC as full-back Munmun Lugun scored a long-range purpose within the penultimate (90+3′) minute to win the match for his crew on the Kalyani Stadium on Thursday (October 8, 2020).
The match appeared to be veering to a goalless draw, with Mohammedan’s Willis Plaza lacking a penalty within the second half. However, Munmun got here to the rescue within the dying moments to grab a dramatic victory and start his facet’s marketing campaign with three factors.
The first half started with half-chances for both facet, with Garhwal FC incomes a free-kick in a harmful place within the very first minute. However, Muhammed Shafeer’s supply was collected by Mohammedan’s captain and custodian Priyant Singh. In the fifth minute, Willis Plaza was performed in on purpose with a beautiful lengthy move however his first-time shot from a decent angle went huge of the goal.
It was the Kolkata-based facet that dominated possession for many elements of the primary half, with wingers Himanshu Jangra and Vanlalbiaa Chhangte trying harmful down the flanks. Both entered the penalty space on numerous events however couldn’t assist their crew open the scoring because the Garhwal FC defence was as much as the duty.
The Black Panthers dominated possession all through the primary 45 minutes however have been unable to search out the breakthrough, with Garhwal creating probabilities on the counter assault and goalkeeper Sayak Barai trying assured in his dealing with.
Interestingly, it was the Delhi-based crew that nearly took the lead within the 21st minute, creating the very best likelihood of the primary half. Their Nigerian striker Victor Philip obtained on the tip of an ideal, swerving ball from the fitting flank with an immaculately timed bounce however his close-range header missed the purpose by a whisker.
Victor entered the thick of issues as soon as once more three minutes earlier than half time — taking pictures powerfully from a slim angle however was denied by Priyant, who made a low, diving save at his close to publish.
Both sides made adjustments on the break, with SK Faiaz approaching for Mohammedan and Uttam Rai taking to the pitch for Garhwal because the match continued to stay a tense, cagey affair. Chances have been few and much to return by, with Plaza dropping deep and trying to take up a playmaking function for the Black Panthers.
At the hour mark, Himanshu beat his opposing full-back down the left flank and charged into the field, earlier than enjoying a low cross throughout the six-yard line which was cleared by a sliding Neeraj Bhandari.
Moments later, Victor broke by means of the Mohammedan defence and raced into the penalty space. As quickly as he seemed set to drag the set off, he was denied by a superb last-ditch deal with by Kingsley Eze, sending the ball out for a nook kick.
Mohammedan earned a golden likelihood within the 67th minute to take the lead as Gani Ahmmed latched on to a slide-rule through-pass by Plaza and was introduced down by Sayak Barai, with the referee reserving the goalkeeper and pointing to the penalty spot. It was Plaza who stepped as much as take the ensuing kick however he did not convert the chance because the ball hit the upright and went out of play.
Five minutes later, Plaza was to be denied by the woodwork but once more — this time the crossbar. Faiaz performed in a chipped ball from the left facet of the penalty field and the Trinidadian noticed his headed try come again off the bar.
Yan Law’s crew continued to pile on the stress as the ultimate whistle got here nearer however the opening purpose remained elusive. In the 79th minute, Moinuddin charged down the fitting facet and performed in a lofted cross for Faiaz, who had the purpose gaping in entrance of him however couldn’t modify his physique in time to go the ball. Plaza thundered a volley only a minute later however it was blocked by Bala Alhassan.
Garhwal defended bravely towards the relentless Mohammedan tide however within the 88th minute, they might have nicked the win as Victor performed in Uttam down the center with a deft through-ball. However, the ahead fluffed his strains and noticed his shot go huge of the publish.
Four minutes of added time was introduced and simply because the match headed to a draw, Munmun Lugun secured the three factors for Mohammedan with a purpose worthy of profitable any match. 30 yards away from purpose and within the third minute of added time, he struck a strong, dipping shot together with his left foot that left the keeper with no likelihood and despatched his teammates and bench into wild celebrations.
After the match, Mohammedan Sporting Head Coach Yan Law stated, “Every team is here to compete. It was a tough match and we missed our chances — missed a penalty and hit the woodwork twice. Luckily, at the last minute, we scored a goal and hopefully, we will take this forward and pick up more points in the upcoming matches.”
Garhwal FC Head Coach Vikas Rawat commented, “In football, you have to keep pushing till the last minute and even added time. However, this result is not a heartbreak for us. I am sure it will make us tough and we will learn a lot from this game and it will make us stronger.”
With this outcome, Mohammedan Sporting be a part of fellow Kolkata facet Bhawanipore FC with three factors from their opening recreation whereas Garhwal FC stay empty-handed regardless of being minutes away from recording a memorable outcome.
Both sides will likely be in motion on the subsequent matchday (October 11), with Mohammedan Sporting taking over the crew from Gujarat — ARA FC on the VYBK Stadium in Kolkata and Garhwal enjoying FC Bengaluru United, who started their marketing campaign with a loss to Bhawanipore FC, on the Kalyani Stadium.