I-League: Mohammedan SC face TRAU in 2nd game of 2nd phase


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Mohammedan Sporting clash with Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) for crucial points in the second game of the final phase of the I-League at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium on Friday.

Mohammedan SC and TRAU were pegged to a 2-2 draw when the two teams met earlier in the league. Komron Tursunov's second-minute strike, followed by a Helder Lobato header in first-half stoppage time gave TRAU a comfortable lead. Mohammedan SC staged a comeback in the second half as Nikhil Kadam and Hira Mondal scored in the 58th and 68th minutes respectively and both teams ended the match with a point each.

However, the script can be different tomorrow for both teams. Pedro Manzi stepped up and delivered for Mohammedan SC in the last game as the Black Panthers handed Real Kashmir their first defeat of the season. As they enter the final phase of the league, Mohammedan SC sit third after picking up 16 points in the first 10 games. With Churchill and Real Kashmir fighting on the top, Sankarlal Chakraborty's team has a unique opportunity to reduce the gap at the top by amassing three points tomorrow.

"There are many positives from the last game. Each player is now approaching the next game with a positive mindset. We are united and working as a team and are focused to fight for the title," said Chakraborty.

"We would have been in a much better position after the first phase, but we are still in the fight to win the league. But, right now I don't want to put that kind of pressure on my players. We need to take it game by game," he further said.

TRAU came from a goal down twice and beat Sudeva Delhi, thus securing their place in the top-six. The Red Pythons sit in sixth place in the league standings with 16 points from 10 games, level on points with Mohammedan SC, and five points adrift of leaders Churchill Brothers. With Real Kashmir and Churchill Brothers battling in a top-of-the-table clash, TRAU will be aiming for three points and to reduce the gap between themselves and the top two.

"The whole team is delighted and all are relaxed. It was a tough game against Sudeva -- a very challenging game. The pressure was on us as Mohammedans had won their game, and it made me very anxious. But the result made me happier. The boys gave their heart out on the field and returned with a victory," said head coach Nandakumar.

Source: IANS

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