Mumbai Tigers, Mohammedan Sporting to lock horns in Durand semis
Mohammedan will have to pull up their socks if they are to go any further. Tolgay Ozbey was definitely missed and the coach will do well to give him some minutes against the Mumbai Tigers in the semis.
Mumbai Tigers set a semi-final date with Mohammedan Sporting after dismantling Sikkim United 6-2 in a Group 1 Durand Cup football encounter at the Ambedkar Stadium here on Saturday.
Mohammedan had to toil hard to beat Kalighat Milan Sangha 3-1 in the earlier match Saturday.
Mumbai Tigers, on the other hand, were on a rampage from the outset.
Striker Bikash Jairu had a field day scoring four of the six goals. Substitute Chhangte Malswmkima and Zeeshan Rahman contributed a goal each to complete the rout.
They came out hammer and tongs at the Sikkim United defence, repeatedly making their way into the opposition box.
For all their chances, it was Sikkim United that opened the scoring, much against the run of play in the 17th minute. Amrit Pal Singh headed in a corner to give his team the lead.
Bikash equalised in the 25th minute with a headed goal. The Tigers had numerous chances to take the lead but were wasteful in front of goal. The team gelled up well and played some slick passing football.
Sikkim United, though, managed to stun the Tigers again. A powerful shot from Nima Thamang in the 30th minute, left former ONGC keeper Rehnesh TP with no chance at all.
Bikash pulled Mumbai back on level after a mesmerising run from Abhishek Ambekar on the right.
In first halftime extra time, Bikash bundled in the ball from close range to complete his hat-trick.
Mumbai Tigers started the second half where they left off with bagging his fourth goal in the 54th minute.
Two late goals Chhangte and Zeeshan put the glitter on an convincing win.
In the earlier game, an Ajay Singh brace helped Mohammedan Sporting beat 10-man Kalighat Milan Sangha.
Two goals from Ajay in the 16th and 61st minute and a 78th minute strike from Penn Irechukwv gave Mohammedan a 3-1 win. Charles Dzisah was the sole goalscorer for Kalighat.
It was not all plain sailing for the victors as they faced stiff resistance from Kalighat in the first half.
Collin Abranches' cross from left found Ajay open in the box. The striker fumbled to control the ball but somehow managed to bundle it in the net.
Charles equalised in the 30th minute but it all went sour for Kalighat thereon.
With the match locked at 1-1, Charles was sent off after being shown a second yellow at the stroke of halftime.
Mohammedan grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Khantan Paite's cross was clinically headed in by Ajay in the second half and 15 minutes later Penn put the game beyond Kalighat after his right foot shot from inside the box went in.
Mohammedan will have to pull up their socks if they are to go any further. Tolgay Ozbey was definitely missed and the coach will do well to give him some minutes against the Mumbai Tigers in the semis Monday.