Mohammedan Sporting do the unexpected, beat JCT
Former champions JCT squandered a 1-0 lead to eventually go down to the Kolkata outfit 1-2 in an action-packed encounter at the Ambedkar Stadium.india Updated: Jan 05, 2007 23:16 IST
A coach sporting a discontented look after a match-winning performance by his team is an aberration. But then Subhash Bhowmick is one of a kind. The maverick Mohammedan Sporting coach stunned everyone on Friday when he said that he was not happy with his team’s performance.
“This was one of the worst matches I’ve ever seen. We were horrible in the first half. The second half was still OK, but hope we’d improve with time,” said Bhowmick.
This bolt from the blue came just moments after his team effected a grand come-from-behind victory over JCT in the first match of the National Football League. Former champions JCT squandered a 1-0 lead to eventually go down to the Kolkata outfit 1-2 in an action-packed encounter at the Ambedkar Stadium.
The millmen were cruising along smoothly after Renedy Singh had put them in lead on the 28th minute through a curling free-kick. Delhi lad Sunil Chetri had won the free-kick after being challenged by Mohammedan’s Firoze, and Renedy bulged the net with a hard footer.
JCT dominated the first-half and enjoyed the lion’s share of ball possession. It was Adebayo who took the first real shot at the target in the sixth minute, but managed to only hit the crossbar. An array of raids followed but luck was with Mohammedan, who were listless, to say the least, in the first-half.
There was a glimmer of hope for Mohammedan in the 38th minute but Bijen Singh's shot from just outside the box was warded off well by a JCT defender. Bhowmick replaced Harbinder Singh with Kuluthangan just after the lemon-break. This move turned out to be a masterstroke as Kuluthangan pulled one back for Mohammedan in the 66th minute, bringing the Kolkata outfit back into the reckoning.
It soon became clear that Mohammedan were hungrier for success, and the millmen were under the gun. After being at the receiving end of the JCT raids for most part of the first half, the Kolkata outfit hit back with a vengeance. For a change, their attacks seemed to have real intent and power.
The JCT citadel finally fell in the 87th minute when Bijen Singh, after dodging past a couple of JCT defenders on the right, centred the ball to Jatin Singh Bisht. Bisht kept up the good work and scooped the ball to Habibur Mondal, who headed in, leaving the JCT custodian clueless.
There was collective gasp, the crowd went into a state of frenzy as the ball nestled into the right corner of the net. For JCT, it was a case of being so near yet so far.