Kalyani (West Bengal), Feb 24 (IANS) Suraj Rawat scored a stoppage time winner as Mohammedan Sporting recorded a 2-1 win over Chennai City FC on Wednesday in the I-League.
Ranjeet Pandre gave Chennai the lead in the first half but Mohammedans scored twice in the second half to wipe out Chennai’s advantage. Chennai suffered a set back early in the second half with defender Tarif Akhand getting a red card and Mohammedans used the advantage to the full.
Mohammedans, despite dominating possession, failed to make the most of their chances and were pinned by a defensive error that resulted in a goal in the 19th minute. Defender Kingsley Eze failed to make a routine clearance after a whipped-in cross from Jishnu Balakrishnan awkwardly bounced for the defender. The cross fell for Pandre, who slotted home from close range to give Chennai the lead.
Conceding much against the run of play looked to take the wind out of Mohammedans’ sails. However, they recuperated and in the 28th minute, new signing Pedro Manzi set up Faisal Ali inside the box. An onrushing Ali, however, could only shoot wide of the goal.
But perhaps the best chance of the half for Mohammedans came in the 40th minute when John Chidi combined with Pedro Manzi inside the box. Chidi set himself up with a fake shot, but his final effort lacked precision as it rattled the post and went out. The half-time scoreline read 1-0 in Chennai’s favour.
Chennai City FC were dealt a heavy blow in the early minutes of the second half when defender Akhand was shown a second yellow card after handling the ball. Reduced to ten men, Chennai City FC committed bodies in defence to safeguard their lead.
Mohammedans capitalised by scoring the equaliser in the 55th minute with Sadhu heading in the ball from a corner kick. It could have been two goals in two successive minutes had Pedro Manzi not skewed his chance wide of goal.
A combination of good Chennai defending and sloppiness up front from Mohammedans led to the latter being unable to find the winner despite having an extra man on the field. Chennai even earned a glorious chance to snatch a goal in the 84th minute after a low cross from the left found Vineeth Kumar inside the box and after setting himself up with a good touch, Vineeth shot over the bar from handshaking distance.
But, there was another twist left in the tale. In stoppage time of the second half, Rawat was set up by Tirthankar Sarkar outside of the box. He took the shot and it found the back of the net to hand the Mohammedans the lead.