Mohammedan Sporting scored a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Shillong’s Langsning FC in the first-leg encounter of the final round of the second division I League at the football stadium here on Wednesday.
With this win, Sporting moved to the joint second spot alongside Bhawanipore FC with four points from two matches, two points behind Mumbai Tigers.
For the first 20-odd minutes of the game, Sporting was on the back foot as Langsning impressed with a series of threatening sorties.
But once the midfield got into the groove, there was some pleasing moves from the Sporting outfit. However, much against the run of play came the goal. Joel Sunday Ayeni, receving a short pass from Marlangki Suting, cut past a couple of defenders to slot a left-footer past an advancing Arnab Das Sharma under the Sporting goal. On resumption, the approach from the Sporting players was very different. There was poise and purpose in their stride.
The equaliser came when Moroccan Younes Barthlaw bulged the net in the 53rd minute off a ball from Prasad. Five minutes later, Sporting’s Gouranga Dutta was brought down at the far corner of the box by Devit Meetei, and the resultant penalty was converted by Charles. Sporting then effectively shut the door on the Shillong team which did make some valiant moves in the dying minutes of the game.
Langsning was probably robbed of a penalty award when Charles brought down Ayeni; the referee ruled a free kick from just outside the box.
Meanwhile, the AIFF has asked KSFA to conduct the second leg of the final round also at the same venue. It may be recalled that the second leg was allotted to Kerala but the Kerala Football Association cried off citing varied reasons. The second leg with the same six teams participating will now be held here from April 15 to 28.
The result: Mohammedan Sporting 2 (Barthlaw, Charles-pen) bt Langsning FC 1 (Ayeni).