Mohammedan Sporting (MDSP) overwhelmed a young and talented Kerala Blasters (KBFC) 3-0 to become the first team to make the semis of the Durand Cup 2022 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan here on Friday.
MDSP – despite missing out on key players like Faslu Rahman and Abhishek Halder due to injuries and suspension – started on the attack from the outset.
In the 17th minute, Marcus Joseph delivered a dangerous low cross across the face of the goal for two players, Yumnam Gopi Singh and Sheikh Faiaz, who were closing in front of the goal.
While Gopi missed it, Faiaz slotted it home with ease to open the scoring.
Kerala had its chance to equalise late in the first half when midfielder Vibin Mohanan found Md. Aimen inside the box on the left.
The striker dodged one defender to create space on his right and unleashed a shot on the turn, but it was too weak to trouble Zothanmawia, MDSP’s goalkeeper.
The second half belonged to Nigerian forward Abiola Dauda, who made his debut for MDSP and scored a brace to seal the victory for the Black Panthers.
After getting a through ball from Faiaz in the penalty box in the 59th minute, the Nigerian bluffed the keeper, taking him out of the equation and doubling the lead.
It was all over in the 84th when Marcus released Abhishek Ambekar on the left wing, who drove in towards the touchline and delivered a perfect cross for Dauda to head in.