Peerless SC began their Calcutta Football League (CFL) title defense with a 4-1 win over newly-promoted side Kidderpore SC in the season opener at the Mohun Bagan Football Ground on Tuesday.
Kidderpore opened the scoring in the third minute of the game to go 1-0 ahead. Deepak Mondal found Rajdeep Saha down the right flank who set up Emmanuel for a perfect first-time attempt on goal. The low cross from Mondal to Emmanuel was not intercepted by Monotosh Chakladar inside the box and allowed the Nigerian to find the back of the net.
Peerless made a superb comeback after going one goal down
However, the goal did not deter the defending champions as Peerless started dominating the game for the rest of the match. The CFL champions equalized through Pankaj Moula in the eighth minute after Saikhom Ronald Singh found Moula with a through ball inside the Kidderpore box. Moula's attempt took a wild deflection off Kidderpore goalkeeper Debapriya Das to make it 1-1.
The Peerless domination continued as Md Aftab Alam scored the second goal for the defending champions to make it 2-1 in the 22nd minute. A cross from the right side off Saikhom Ronald Singh found Akash Mukherjee on the left side of the Kidderpore box.
Mukherjee's shot rattled the woodwork of the Kidderpore goal and went straight to Alam, who slotted it home to give Peerless the lead for the very first time in the CFL opener.
Ansumana Kromah made it 3-1 for Peerless in the 39th minute with a clinical finish inside the box after Kidderpore failed to clear a bobbling ball inside their own box.
Kidderpore SC failed to keep up with Peerless SC in the second half
Things got worse for Kidderpore in the second half as Peerless got a penalty in the 70th minute after Ansumana Kromah was brought down due to a tackle by Deepak Mondal.
Kromah stepped up to make it 4-1 for Peerless after finding the bottom left corner of the goal. Kidderpore had a chance to reduce the deficit in the second half after Emmanuel set up Md Farid inside the Peerless box but the forward rattled the woodwork.
Peerless will now take on Aryan Club next week at the Mohammedan Sporting Ground while Kidderpore travel across the river to the Howrah Stadium to face George Telegraph in the CFL.