Durand Cup: Mohammedan SC vs Indian Navy - Hits and Flops
I-League second division side Mohammedan side kept their Durand Cup dreams alive after a 0-2 drubbing to city rivals Mohun Bagan when they ran riot against the Indian Naval side 6-1 in the Durand Cup on Saturday. Mohammedan had a slow start but eventually ended up finding the back of the net for six times thanks to a five-goal outing from their striker Arthur Kouassi. Indian Navy showed glimpses of a possible comeback but Mohammedan's quality was just too much for the military side to sustain against. Sportskeeda looks at the best and worst performers from the game.
HIT - Arthur Kouassi
The Ivory Coast forward was in dream form on Saturday. He started his fifer with a scrappy goal against the run of play and then looked unstoppable. Finishing almost all of his chances from outside and inside the box to completely remove Indian Navy from the equation, Kouassi used his physicality and quick manoeuvring ability to stretch the Naval defence and go away from his markers.
Kouassi was first brought to Indian football last season by Gokulam Kerala in the I-League and is looking a very useful weapon for the Black Panthers to use in the upcoming I-League second division as the hunt for a I-League is still on for the Kolkata Giants.
FLOP - Tirthankar Sarkar
Tirthankar Sarkar first caught eyeballs during his 2017 Santosh Trophy campaign. He scored a series of free-kicks and long rangers to make a name for himself amongst the Bengal football fans. He bailed Bengal out of an early exit in the Santosh Trophy and was a crucial part of the runners-up campaign. Sarkar moved to Mohun Bagan and then to his current club, Mohammedan SC.
His commandable long ranger and curling skills were visible on Saturday when he attemped a one or two goals from distance but was looking highly unfit and out of shape. His passes were sloppy and he was beaten by pace on several occassions. Much is expected from a sheer talent like Sarkar who may just fade away if not taken care of right now.
HIT - PM Britto
Britto PM has an interesting tale to tell. He has signed a professional contract with Mohun Bagan but his military duties to honour the Naval uniform has led to his showing up for the Indian Navy side in the Durand Cup and boy did he deliver. He was perhaps the one and only Indian Navy player on the pitch worth talking about. He latched on to some half chances and kept on troubling the Mohammedan defence. He did miss a lot of chances upfront but he made a run for every half ball and was on top of his game. With sheer hardwork and patience, he was rewarded finally as he slot home a briliant curler from distance to reduce the deficit for Indian Navy.
FLOP - Dalraj Singh
Dalraj Singh from the Indian Navy was taken on for a ride by Kouassi and Musa. He was beaten on pace on several occassions by Kamran Farooque and Tirthankar Sarkar down the flanks which resulted in continuous Mohammedan attacks. Dalraj was also indisciplined on his man-to-man marking duties as he allowed acres of space to Mohammmedan SC around him which resulted in atleast two avoidable goals from Kouassi.
HIT - Kareem Omolaja
The versatile defender kept the Indian Navy forwards at bay and was a tall figure to breach even for the likes of PM Britto. Kareem saved two certain goals from Sarabjit Singh with couple of brilliant on the line clearances. It was his floated ball which found Musa Mudde's head for the second goal of the Black Panthers.