Mohammedan Sporting beat Sreenidi Deccan 2-1 to take a commanding lead at the top of the table, in its I-League 2023-24 game at the Naihati Stadium on Sunday.
With 19 points from seven matches, the Black and White Brigade is now the lone leader in the points table, while Sreenidi remains on 16 after eight outings.
Mohammedan started the game at breakneck speed on its home turf, constantly putting the Sreenidi defence under pressure, albeit without really creating much in terms of chances. It almost paid for it, when Sreendi capitalised on a break to create the first real chance of the game.
It came in the 15th minute, Lalromawia twisting and turning at the top of the box to feed David Castaneda who had drifted free of his marker. The Colombian collected and managed to get a shot away from a tight angle but it drifted just wide.
The game settled into a pattern quickly, Mohammedan’s midfield the superior of the two but also struggling to get past a defence brilliantly marshalled by Gurmukh Singh.
It was Gurmukh, who combined with Albino Gomes to deny Mohammedan what seemed an opening goal in the 34th minute.
Alexis Gomez’s free-kick took a massive deflection off the wall and looked to be heading into goal, despite Albino’s dive to save, when Gurmukh cleared the ball off the line.
Three minutes later though Mirjalol Kasimov made sure it didn’t matter.
The Uzbek drifted in from the left, played a one-two with Gomez before dribbling to the top of the box and unleashing a perfectly targeted shot into the bottom corner.
Eddie Hernandez doubled the lead on the hour mark with a brilliantly powered header after Remsanga and Vanlalzuidika’s interplay saw the latter put a lofted cross into the box.
Sreenidi Deccan tried to claw into the game when William Alves converted a penalty in the 84th minute after Lalbiakliana was hacked down inside the box by Mohamed Irshad. But the host proved to be defensively solid to run out to the last few minutes, securing yet another win in the league.
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