MOHAMMEDAN SPORTING EARNED a commanding victory over Tollygunge Agragami in their playoff match, earning a place in the quarter finals of the Calcutta Football League 2021.
But the Black Panthers' victory did not arrive without a share of controversy that's threatening their future participation in the tournament itself.
The match began with MSC asserting their control. Marcus Joseph scored for them just 18 minutes in. The scoreline stayed 1-0 till half time but it wasn't for lack of opportunities.
At no point it seemed like Mohammedan Sporting were having a tough time in the match. From early on in the second half, the systematic dismantling of the Tollygunge defence continued. Buam doubled the lead 52 minutes in, and not long afterwards Marcus Joseph got his brace extending MSC's lead to 3-0.
But soon afterwards the most controversial moment of the match occured when Tollygunge were errenously awarded a penalty after the 80 minute mark. A brilliant clearance from Saheen, where he stopped a clear goal on an empty net by sliding in and deflecting the ball off his chest, was misjudged to be a handball by the referee. This resulted in Tollygunge Agragami getting a penalty, which Christopher converted from the spot.
The major point of contention, however, was the red card given to Saheen because of the handball he did not commit, which would cause him to miss MSC's quarter final match against Bhawanipore FC. Mohammedan Sporting officials went on to ask IFA to overturn the decision, and they did not rule out pulling out of CFL if justice was not done.
However, the 3-1 victory marked a welcome return to form for Mohammedan Sporting following their campaign in the Durand Cup which ended in a defeat to FC Goa at the final. MSC remain one of the favourites to win the CFL this season, which would mark the very first time they have won this coveted trophy in the last 40 years.