Mohammedan Sporting completed a positive day for two Kolkata teams struggling in the second I-League. Like East Bengal in the afternoon, the 14th round victory against JCT on Saturday was the first in six rounds. And third in the competition.
Lucky to be not caught on the break and only once off a set-piece, East Bengal, looking brisker after the breather, too ended a five-match winless streak against Air India. For Subhas Bhowmick, the satisfaction of his first win must have been significantly enhanced by the fact that all the goals had contributions from wide midfield players.
Always running his legs off but rarely being effective is a charge often levelled at Jothi Kumar. On Saturday evening, he buzzed on the left side like it was business as usual. More importantly, he zoomed from behind Jaspal Singh to meet a ball from Suraj Mondal who had been set going by Gurpreet Singh. It put Mohammedan Sporting ahead.
Six minutes later, driving down the inside-left channel, he forced Julius Akpele to elbow him down inside the area. Mike Okoro's blast from the spot made it 2-0.
Two attempts from Eduardo Escobar early in each half encapsulated a performance that was effete by JCT's standards. It was only when they were chasing did JCT show some urgency. It still left the Punjab team looking for its first win here this time around.
Md Sp 2 (J Kumar 72; Okoro 78 pen) JCT 0; EB 3 (Yakubu, 48; Sunil 56; Pradhan 80) Air India 1 (Subhas 88)