Mohammedan Sporting began their Federation Cup campaign in style when they defeated Ar-Hima by a solitary goal in Group A as the Preliminary phase kicked-off at the Kalyani Stadium. Stanley Okoroigwe made the difference between the two teams in the 34th minute.
Sporting did enjoy territorial domination for most of the match and could have won by a bigger margin but for inept shooting on part of their strikers. Suroj Mondal, Surajit Bose and Stanley stayed guilty of muffing from close. The Black-and-White were also unlucky to have been deprived once by the crosspiece.
Sporting coach Aloke Mukherjee wasn’t willing to go overboard after the win. “It’s the perfect start to the new season. But this is just the beginning,” he said. “I’m happy that we won. We are yet to play to our full potential. The team will take some time to settle down,” he added. “My first priority is to take the team through to the main phase of the Federation Cup.” Sporting next play Goa’s Vasco Sports Club on September 12.
Friday’s matches (GROUP B):
Match 1: Southern Samity vs Royal Wahingdoh – Howrah Stadium – 2.45pm
Match 2: United Sikkim Football Club vs ONGC – Mohun Bagan ground – 2.45pm