Mohammedan SC came from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw against TRAU FC at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium in Kalyani. Goals by Komron Tursunov in the 2nd minute and Helder Lobato in first half stoppage time were cancelled out by Nikhil Kadam’s and Hira Mondal’s headers in the 58th and 68th minute respectively, as both teams shared points at the end of the 90 minutes.
TRAU were given the chance to go ahead in the very first minute itself after Komron Tursunov’s header went inches over the bar. Sixty seconds later, Komron slotted home from close range, latching on to a rebound after a defensive error handed TRAU possession of the ball just outside the opposition’s penalty box.
It could have been three goals for TRAU in under 15 minutes had the Manipur outfit taken their chances. In the 11th minute, another howler in the defence gave Komron the ball. With only the opposition custodian to beat, the Tajik forward shot wide of goal.
The early setback rattled Mohammedan SC and though the Kolkata-based club dominated possession, their lacklustre performance in the final third meant that TRAU FC’s goalkeeper was forced to make easy saves of shots coming mostly from outside the box.
On the left wing for the Black Panthers, Nikhil Kadam proved to be a live-wire. His agile dribbling and speed caught the TRAU defenders off guard but that was not enough to find the back of the net. In the 41st minute, his shot from distance was saved easily by the TRAU custodian.
In added time at the end of the first half, TRAU were given a corner and Komron Tursunov’s delivery was thumped home by an unmarked Helder Lobato, who doubled the Manipuri side’s lead going into half-time.
Trailing 2-0, the Kolkata giants committed bodies in attack to salvage at least a point from the game. In the 56th minute, Suraj Rawat tried to play a through-ball to Gourav Mukhi, but TRAU’s defence was present to saw off the danger.
In the 58th minute, a corner for Mohammedan created havoc in the TRAU defence. With no defender able to clear the ball, the chance fell to Nikhil Kadam, whose quick reactions saw him produce a diving header to slot the ball home as the Black Panthers reduced their deficit.
With momentum on their side, it was only a matter of time before Mohammedan pounced for the equalizer. In the 68th minute, that equalizer came after Sarkar found Hira Mondal on the far post with a looping cross and the defender headed home to put the game back to level pegging.
Though the Black Panthers searched for the goal that would give them the lead, TRAU bolstered their defence and thwarted balls long at the sight of danger. With neither team able to create a clear goal-scoring opportunity the game finished as it started, all square — as both teams registered a point each.