Mohammedan blanks Jamshedpur 3-0 to move atop of Group A in Durand Cup 2022

Sheikh Faiaz of Mohammedan in action in Durand Cup 2022

Mohammedan continued their winning spree against second-string sides of ISL clubs by thumping Jamshedpur 3-0 at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Sunday in Group A of Durand Cup 2022. 

Despite having big names on the side, it was the Indian trio of Abhishek Halder, Sheikh Faiaz, and Faslu Rahman who found their names on the scoresheet. 

Building on their 3-0 win over Goa, Mohammedan made two changes to the side that beat Goa 3-1 as Christy Davis replaced Abhishek Halder in the midfield while Faslu Rahman took the place of Rahul Paswan upfront. They continued with their 4-4-2 formation with Abhishek Ambekar, Ousmane N’Diaye, Sairuat Kima, and Vanlalzuidika forming the back four. Nuriddin Davronov and Christy dictated the terms in the centre of the park while Sheikh Faiaz and Pritam Singh attacked from the flanks. Marcus Joseph and Faslu Rahman were the two men taking the responsibilities of striking duties. 

Jamshedpur made no change and stuck to their defensive 5-4-1 formation. Sandip Mandi donned the captain’s armband as a part of the back five while shouldering the defensive duties alongside Piyush Thakuri, Kojam Beyong, Saphaba Telem, and Aryan Sonowal. Keisan Singh, Phijam Vikash Singh, Vinil Poojary, and Hijam Lenin Singh played in the midfield while Lalruatmawia was the lone striker upfront. 

The first chance of the game fell to Mohammedan in the 15th minute to Faslu Rahman. However, the substitute goalscorer of the previous match hit it straight toward the goalkeeper from a one-on-one situation. The Black Panthers continued knocking on the doors of Jamshedpur but were undone by the central defenders of Jamshedpur in the final third. 

However, their patience finally paid dividends in the 38th minute when Sheikh Faiaz curled a corner kick towards Sairuat Kima at the middle of the box. His initial header was saved by the Jamshedpur goalkeeper but the rebound fell kindly to the path of Faslu Rahman, who nodded the ball into the goal from a hand-shaking distance. 

Jamshedpur almost equalized the proceedings four minutes later but Lalruatmawia slammed the woodwork after finding himself at the end of an inch-perfect cross from Vinil Poojary. Mohammedan went into the break with their noses upfront by a margin of 1-0 and slightly dominating the possession statistics. 

Substitute Abhishek Halder missed a golden opportunity to double Mohammedan’s lead in the 64th minute when his volley off Sheikh Faiaz’s cross was connected wayward. However, he was presented with one more opportunity in the 72nd minute and this time he made it count. Connecting Marcus Joseph’s through ball, Halder chipped the ball past the onrushing keeper to find his name on the scoresheet. 

Mohammedan scored another goal two minutes later after Marcus sent Faiaz through on goal. The latter found himself in a one-on-one position and made no mistake in slamming the ball home. 

Marcus Joseph could have found his name on the scoresheet in the 85th minute when he unleashed a scorching strike from outside the box. However, his effort trickled just past the crossbar. Jamshedpur failed to disturb the scorers as the full-time score read 3-0. 

This is Jamshedpur’s second loss in a row as they find themselves at the bottom of the table. Mohammedan will next take on the Indian Air Force on Saturday while the Men of Steel will lock horns with Goa on Friday. Finding themselves in the contrasting ends of Group A, it remains to be seen how their path in the Durand Cup carries on from here.