Peerless SC is on the driving seat of the Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ League, as the 60-year-old dominance of the league by Calcutta’s ‘Big Three’ teams is under serious threat.
East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting haven’t given up the chase yet.
Peerless remain second to none
Peerless SC moved another step closer to claiming their first-ever Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ League titled after a 2-0 win over Bhawanipore FC at the Barasat Stadium.
With both teams occupying the top two spots of the league table, it was all about gathering the three vital points.
The match sprung into action in the 14th minute when Edmond Peprah put Peerless ahead. The Ghanaian striker finding the back of the net from a well-taken freekick.
Bhawanipore had their share of chances, only to be thwarted by the Peerless goalkeeper, James Kithan, especially off Beton Kamo in the 42nd minute.
Jiten Murmu doubled the lead in the 58th minute. Collecting a pass from Kromah, the veteran attacker put the ball past Bhawanipore goalkeeper Abhijit.
The Sankarlal Chakraborty-led Bhawanipore FC drop to the fourth spot on 14 points. Their title challenge is effectively over.
For Peerless, the win maintains their grip on the top spot with 17 points from eight matches. Having beaten Mohun Bagan and East Bengal earlier, Peerless SC’s next challenge comes up in the next fixture against Mohammedan Sporting.
With two rounds to go for most of the teams in the top half of the standings, the chances of any other team nudging Peerless out of the title race is dwindling.
East Bengal sees the end of Rainbow
A first-half goal by Marcos Espada Martin earned East Bengal a 1-0 win against Rainbow AC in the Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ League.
The Spanish forward scored off a 35th-minute penalty to secure the three points for East Bengal.
The win helped East Bengal move up to the second spot with 17 points from nine matches – but with an inferior goal difference.
With two matches left to play, East Bengal has to win both their matches and hope that the other results go their way. To keep their title hopes alive, they will need to do need to secure three points against Mohammedan Sporting in the next match.
Mohammedan snuff Mohun Bagan’s dream of retaining title
Mohammedan Sporting kept their title hopes alive by beating defending champions Mohun Bagan 3-2 at the Salt Lake Stadium.
What was deemed as the marquee fixture of the round, Mohammedan Sporting started the match on the front foot by taking a two-goal lead within 11 minutes of the match.
Kareem Omoloja scraped in a goal from close in the 7th minute off a Tirthankar Sarkar corner. The midfielder doubled the lead four minutes later with a shot from the edge of the box.
Mohun Bagan replied through Joseba Beitia. The midfielder was brought down outside the box and slotted in the resultant free-kick from 22 yards to make it 2-1 in the 25th minute. The Spaniard almost equalized in the 35th minute with a long-ranger from the edge of the box, however, Priyant Singh was up to the task.
John Chidi extended the lead for Mohammedan in the 62nd minute. Tirthankar Sarkar was at the center of the action again when his shot from the edge of the box was parried away by Debjit, only for Chidi to pounce on the rebound to make it 3-1.
Salvador Perez was thrown in and the change proved to be an instant hit as the Spaniard pulled one back for Mohun Bagan with a header off Beitia’s free-kick in the 70th minute.
Mohammedan hung on to take all three points and dented Mohun Bagan’s chances of retaining the title.
The title challenge for the Black Panther will hinge on the next two matches, but it will not be easy by any means as they face Peerless SC and East Bengal in a space of three days.
CFL Premier Division A Table
For this season, the format is a league-cum-knockout tournament. 14 teams will be divided into two groups and top three from each will earn a direct quarter final berth. The remaining eight will then play with each other and the top two would complete the last-eight teams.
|1||United Sports Club||5||3||1||1||10||8||5||3|
|2||BSS Sporting Club||5||3||1||1||10||10||7||3|
|7||SC East Bengal (TBD)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|3||George Telegraph SC||5||2||3||0||9||6||3||3|
|7||ATK Mohun Bagan (TBD)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Customs sneak up to George Telegraph
George Telegraph SC’s title aspirations have been derailed following back-to-back losses in a space of three days has left the 94-year old club four points behind the league leaders.
William Opuku scored a brace for BSS in the second half to secure a 2-0 win over George Telegraph to earn a crucial win. BSS is on eight points, two ahead of the relegation candidates.
Calcutta Customs beat George Telegraph 3-2 to close the gap to two points. Rajon Burman opened the scoring for Customs, while Sumit Ghosh’s brace nullified Sanoh Pato’s brace for George Telegraph.
Having beaten Aryan Club 2-0 earlier in the week, courtesy a brace from Philip Adjah, the Customs men registered two wins in a row having gone winless since the start of the campaign.
Relegation hits and misses
In a bid to avoid the drop, Southern Samity played out two draws in the week to stay three points clear of the relegation zone.
The match against Kalighat Milan Sangha ended goalless at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium. Southern Samity’s midfielder, Mahmoud Amnah, could have sealed three points for Southern Samity with a penalty in the 82nd minute. However, the Syrian missed his spot-kick.
In the next match against Aryan Club, Faisal Ali scored a crucial equalizer for Southern Samity to cancel out Kuti Ademola’s opener and share the spoils. Both teams are locked in nine points from nine matches.
Bottom-placed Kalighat MS trail Rainbow AC by one point. The two teams face each other in a must-win game, where anything less than three points could seal their fate in the second division in the next season.