Kolkata soccer giants Mohammedan Sporting kicked off their 131st Indian Oil Durand Cup season with an impressive 3-1 win over defending champions FC Goa in the tournament opener at Kolkata’s Vivekanada Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) on Tuesday (16 August) . Muhammed Nemil opened the top scorer in the 34th minute of the first half with a miracle goal, his second of the kind in two years, but the home side came back strongly in the second half, initially equalizing through Pritam Singh (48′). and then continue with six minutes of regular time through substitute Faslu Rahman.
Talisman Marcus Joseph added the icing on the cake with a third in the third minute of added time. Both teams, placed in Group A along with Bengaluru FC, Jamshedpur FC and Indian Air Force, needed a win to secure a possible top two spot to qualify for the knockout rounds to qualify. Mohammedan coach Andrey Chernyshov will certainly return the happier of the two as he will see both his starting eleven and bench perform comfortably.
Watch the highlights of the Durand Cup match between Mohammedan Sporting and Goa FC here…
Matchday 1 : @MohammedanSC @FCGoaOfficial || Highlights || 2022#IndianOilDurandCup #DurandCup #DurandCup2022 #IndianFootball #IndianFootballForwardTogetherhttps://t.co/luTqEedeU4 — Durand Cup (@thedurandcup) August 16, 2022
The game was preceded by an opening ceremony at which Mamata Banerjee, Hon. Chief Minister West Bengal was Chief Guest. Army bands were on display and star singers Papon and Rewben Mashangwa sang the tournament’s theme song before the main guest was introduced to players and staff from both teams.
A game with two halves
Goa gaffer Deggie Cardozo opted for an attacking 4-3-3 formation to start the game despite a relatively inexperienced side, while Mohammedan played with young Rahul Paswan in the regular 4-4-2 with Trinidadian Marcus in leadership went.
However, it was the Gaurs who drew the first blood as Nemil found some space outside the box after just over half an hour and caught goalkeeper Shankar Roy completely flat-footed with a delicious chipped shot from the turn.
The Black & White Brigade is coming back strong
The second half was all Mohammedan as Pritam Singh found a loose ball in the box after the Goa goalkeeper saved a Sk. Faiaz cross. He made no mistake. Mohammedan kept attacking and Marcus in particular missed some high-profile chances. Then Chernyshov made a brilliant double substitution, bringing on Abhash Thapa and Faslu Rahman with just over 10 minutes to go. The two substitutions combined effectively when Man of the Match landed Faslu at the end of an Abhash cross and Mohammedan was on course to avenge last year’s defeat.
Then, when the game was in overtime, Marcus scored from close range to make it 3-1, to the delight of the 30,000 or so home fans in the stadium.