Kolkata, Apr 13 UNI | 4 months ago

Mohammedan Sporting came from behind to beat fellow relegation contenders Rangdajied United 2-1 in a round 25 encounter of the Airtel I-League here at the Yuva Bharati Krirangan today.

Ranti Martins gave Rangdajied an early lead but Mohammedan equalised through Taro Hasegawa. In the second half, defender Luciano Sobrosa put Mohammedan in front from a penalty and the Kolkata giants held on for three precious points.

The result moves out Mohammedan from the rock-bottom spot for a few hours at least but more importantly they maintain the pressure on the four teams above them including Rangdajied who are now only three points clear of Mohammedan and have played an extra game.

Rangdajied made a bright start and opened the scoring after a fine team move. T Lalnunpuia's header from a David Ngaihte cross was saved by Luis Barreto but Ranti pounced on the rebound and scored his eighth goal in seven matches for the Shillong club and 12th overall in this I-League campaign.

Mohammedan produced a strong response as Penn Orji nearly set up Josimar for the equaliser while Manish Maithani's goal-bound shot was blocked by Yohei Iwasaki.

Japanese Hasegawa was introduced by Mohammedan coach Sanjoy Sen and the match became an end-to-end contest with both sides creating openings.

The hosts were level after a brilliant individual effort from Hasegawa as the substitute went past a couple of Rangdajied defenders before scoring past TP Rehenesh with a powerful shot.

Mohammedan deserved their equaliser and ended the half strongly but some good last-ditch defending from Rangdajied kept the score at 1-1.

The North-East club were struggling to cope with the hot and humid conditions towards the end of the first half and that didn't change in the second half either as Mohammedan continued to dominate with Josimar hitting the post and Penn going close.

Mohammedan's dominance finally paid dividends as Maithani was brought down inside the box by Lamine Tamba and the referee pointed to the spot. Brazilian centre-back Luciano stepped up and coolly converted the penalty.

Rangdajied made a double substitution but Mohammedan didn't drop their tempo and continued to attack. However the black and whites were wasteful in front of goal as Penn and Hasegawa squandered good opportunities.

At the other end Ranti lacked support but the visitors had a couple of chances to equalise in stoppage time. First Eugeneson Lygdoh failed to hit the target after Mehrajuddin Wadoo had given away possession and minutes later Sandesh Gadkari headed narrowly wide from a Lygdoh corner.

Mohammedan recorded their first win in six I-League fixtures and have now done the double over Rangdajied.

(Posted on 13-04-2014)