East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, and Mohammedan SC might be the most celebrated teams in Kolkata, but it is George Telegraph SC who stole the limelight with two sterling displays in the second week of the Calcutta Football League table.
Playing their opening fixtures in the Calcutta Football League – Premier Division A, the three Kolkata giants failed to win their matches.
Justice for George
George Telegraph SC’s Justice Morgan scored late in injury time to beat East Bengal 1-0 at the East Bengal ground. A counter-attack in the fourth minute of added time allowed the Nigerian to slot past Rakshit Dagar and silence the vociferous home crowd.
For the readers who are unfamiliar with Kolkata football, George Telegraph is an institution.
Back to the football. Coming off a 6-0 win the in the Durand Cup, East Bengal’s team comprised mainly of reserve players. However, the Red & Gold youth was thwarted by the resolute George Telegraph backline led by the former Mohun Bagan man, Aniyiche Echezona. In the end it was the former Aizawl FC striker who won scored the decisive goal to take George Telegraph to the top of the table with nine points in three matches.
George’s Sunday Best
Earlier in the week, Justice’s striker partner, Joel Sunday, scored the lone goal against Kalighat MS to ensure a 1-0 win at the Gayeshpur Stadium. A freekick from outside the box curled around the Kalighat wall and beat the opposition goalie.
CFL Premier Division A Table
For this season, the format is a league + knockout tournament. 14 teams will be divided into two groups and top three from each group will earn a direct quarter final berth. The remaining eight will then play with each other and the top two will complete the last-eight teams. The eight teams will enter the quarterfinals in the knockout stage.
|1||Bhawanipore FC (Q)||5||3||2||0||11||11||7||4|
|2||United Sports Club (Q)||5||3||1||1||10||8||5||3|
|3||BSS Sporting Club (Q)||5||3||1||1||10||10||7||3|
|7||SC East Bengal (DNP)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|1||Peerless SC (Q)||5||3||1||1||10||11||5||6|
|2||Calcutta Customs (Q)||5||3||1||1||10||10||4||6|
|3||George Telegraph SC (Q)||5||2||3||0||9||6||3||3|
|7||ATK Mohun Bagan (DNP)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Peerless display by Kromah
A brace by Ansumana Kromah helped last year’s runners-up, Peerless, defeat defending champions Mohun Bagan 3-0 at the Mohun Bagan ground.
The home team went on the backfoot when Liberian striker, Kromah, opened the scoring for Peerless in the 21st minute. The former Mohun Bagan man proceeded to wrap up a brilliant display with his involvement in the second and third goal.
In the 77th minute, Kromah laid the ball for Lakshmikanta Mandi. The substitute promptly lobbed the ball over an onrushing Shilton Paul to make it 2-0 for the visitors. The very next minute, the Mohun Bagan goalie gifted the third goal with a blotched clearance. The Liberian slotted in the third goal of the match to dash all hopes of a comeback.
Mohun Bagan’s day was summed up in stoppage time when Peerless goalkeeper, James Kithan, saved Salva Chamorro’s effort from the penalty spot.
After the match, Kromah said: “When I score against Bagan, I am always sad. I love Bagan, love the fans… I am happy that my team won, but I’m also sad for Bagan.”
A consummate professional right there.
Aryans keep Mohammedans at bay
In a match up that would have left a history afficianano absolutely flummoxed, Mohammedan failed to beat Aryan.
Playing their opening fixture in the rain, the conditions were not condusive for good football. However, it was the Dharmatala-based club went ahead in the 11th minute. A counter attack resulted in Aryan Club’s Nigerian striker, Kuti Ademola, slotting the ball past Mohammedan’s keeper, Moniruzzaman Ansari.
Three minutes later, the Kolkata giants equalized. Midfielder Tirthankar Sarkar’s corner kick caught everyone off-guard as the ball sailed straight into the net from the corner flag.
Aryan Club continued to look dangerous on the counter, but both the defences managed to minimize their mistakes in order to share the points.
Customs keep Bhowanipore from moving forward
Bhawanipore FC were held to a 1-1 draw against Calcutta Customs. The table toppers from the first week went ahead courtesy a successful spotkick by Beton Kamo. The Ivorian leads the goalscoring charts with his fifth goal.
However, the government-based club had the services of their Nigerian recruit, Eze Stanley Ifeanyi. Customs has
snuck in recruited as many as three foreign recruits in their team.
Stanley scored his second goal in as many matches and enabled his team to register their first points in the table. Meanwhile, Bhawanipore remain unbeaten in second place with seven points.