BHAWANIPORE FC BEGAN their Calcutta Football League campaign with a thrilling, hard-earned 2-1 victory over United SC today.
The match, held at the Mohun Bagan Ground, featured some of the most exciting upcoming talent in Kolkata football and stood out for its memorable goals.
After a tight-knit contest got the game off to a start, it was almost the half hour mark before the first break-through came. In what may be an early contender for India's goal of the season, former Uganda international as well as Mohun Bagan and Gokulam Kerala FC player Henry Kisekka served a well-placed ball to Antor Sagayaraj on the left. The lobbed cross he sent went across the face of the goal. Running in on an angle from the right was Pritam Sarkar, who leaped forward, throwing his body in the air to meet the ball with a perfect header. The ball rocketed into the net.
The goal that put Bhawanipore ahead would make any striker in the world proud. But it wasn't long before United SC's youngsters got their club back on even terms with another goal that would be memorable for fans.
Tanmoy Ghosh was repeatedly blocked by a defender as he attempted to invade the Bhawanipore box. He found the solution by pushing the ball to the left and diving sideways to send a left footed through ball in for Dilip Oraon who found the net with great precision. A beautiful team effort to counter the brilliance displayed in Bhawanipore's first goal.
The game went into second half with both teams creating chances but neither breaking through. Although Bhawanipore had more of the possession, United SC looked good during attacks and were good at absorbing the pressure put on by their opponents. But Bhawanipore FC did not give up even late into the game. And their sustained efforts finally bore fruit in added time.
3 minutes after regulation time was over, Kisekka's pass found former Mumbai FC, Chennai City and Delhi Dynamos player Pradeep Mohanraj who found the net under pressure. The last moment goal was enough to make a decisive difference in the final scoreline. Bhawanipore Football Club ensured a 2-1 victory and assumed the third position on the points table in Group A, with 3 points from 1 match and a goal difference of +1.
However, the fight put on by United SC's mostly young roster was also something to take away from this game.
Bhawanipore's next match is scheduled for Tuesday, 24th August, against East Bengal. But due to EB's still unresolved negotiations with their investors, the match may not take place on that day. Although CFL organizers IFA (WB) have not officially declared the match as postponed, at this point there does not seem to be much of a chance of this game happening, even if East Bengal do get the agreement signed before Tuesday.
Incidentally, United SC's next match is also scheduled against East Bengal; on 31st August. It remains to be seen if that match will also be postponed, as it's still plausible for EB to put a team together in time for that game.