NEW DELHI: Assam Rifles put up a disappointing show in succumbing to Mohammedan Sporting 0-2 in a group `A' pre-quarterfinal league match of the Osian's Durand Cup football tournament at the Ambedkar Stadium here on Friday.
In a well-contested match earlier, Border Security Force stayed in the reckoning with a 1-0 victory over Tata Football Academy.
For TFA coach Ranjan Choudhury, it was a performance that could be categorised as "satisfactory." He insisted the TFA youngsters had a specific role to perform. "They had to learn from this match and that's why I adopted a different strategy today," he said. TFA shed the long-ball tactic of Thursday and played more on the ground, looking to create space by opening the game on the flanks.
BSF had its share of problems. According to coach Avtar Singh, the team was without the services of some players and that had an impact on the overall performance of the side. "I am disappointed because we just did not play to our potential. But a win is a win even though the team played below my expectations. I had to make do with the best options available," Avtar pointed out.
The BSF coach also observed that the ball being used was causing problems too. "The ball is too light and we have had no time to practice with this particular brand before this match," said Avtar.
The goal for BSF came from Sarabjit from a flag-kick floated by Gurjit Atwal. The TFA goalkeeper spilled the ball in trying to make a collection and Sarabjit just tapped it in. "We ought to have scored more goals," lamented Avtar.Sporting was well organised and did not relent at all. It took the lead through Raman Vijayan's opportunism. A long ball from the right sent Jamir Ali in an attacking frame but his shot was blocked by the Assam Rifles goalkeeper and an alert Vijayan, looking for that half chance, rolled the loose ball in with a gentle tap.
Goal of the day
The goal of the day came a little later through Surojit Roy's brilliant effort. He scurried down the left flank and produced an impeccable floater. Even as the Assam Rifles defence was engaged in putting up resistance, Harvinder Singh, waiting in anticipation, headed in strongly, and perfectly, to sink any hopes that Assam Rifles entertained.