Mohammedan SC Media
KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club will go into a crucial away clash against table-toppers Neroca FC, knowing they need nothing but a win in the last Preliminary Round Group-B fixture of the 2nd Division League to be played at the Khuman Lampak Main Stadium in Imphal on Saturday (February 25, 2017).
The Black Panthers are at the third position in the table with 9 points in their kitty from 5 matches and have no other option but to register a win over the Highlanders to secure their place in the final round. While Neroca FC, on 12 points, only need a draw to qualify and should be at an advantage since they are playing at home where they have never lost a 2nd Division League match since making their debut in 2015.
“We will be playing the most important game of the season and as I have said in the past that my aim is to win every game, so against Neroca my team will be going all out. It will be a tough game and we need to believe in our team abilities,” said Mohammedan SC coach Ranjan Chaudhury.
In the reverse fixture, Mohammedan SC garnered all three points in Kolkata, thanks to goals by Manvir Singh and team’s top scorer Vanlalbiaa Chhangte. Since the away defeat, Neroca FC have recovered immaculately and logged 3 consecutive wins beating Southern Samity twice and Hindustan FC.
Mohammedan SC’s intimidating attacking trio comprising of Vanlalbiaa, Manvir and Leonce Dodoz has given a much-needed boost to their hope to make into the final round when they thrashed Hindustan FC 6-1 to record their biggest ever win in 2nd Division League last week, however the task at hand is not looking easy against a gritty Neroca FC side that have last conceded at home almost a year ago in April 2016 against Lonestar Kashmir FC.
Coach Chaudhury is completely aware that Neroca FC will have an extra advantage as they will be backed by a crowd of approximately 20,000. But the former India international fancies his team’s chances.
Heading into the match, Mohammedan SC will be relieved as they will once again get back the services of their skipper Rana Gharami, who had missed the last match for his accumulation of yellow cards. With Rana back in the side, the defence will get the cutting edge that was missing against Hindustan FC.
Over the years, both sides have faced off five times in 2nd Division League. Mohammedan SC boasts a better head-to-head record having logged three wins compared to Neroca FC’s two. But all in all, Neroca FC are looking strong, while Mohammedan SC need to pull something special out of the bag.
The match kicks off in Imphal at 1.30 PM tomorrow.