Alfred K Jaryan’s timely second-half goal helped Mohammedan Sporting labour to a 1-0 victory over a fighting Southern Samity in their I-League Second Division match at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Friday.
The Liberian midfielder’s 69th minute header ensured Sporting edged ahead of Mumbai Tigers (six points from two games) to take the top spot on the points table with seven points from three matches.
Sporting were workmanlike in their efforts on the day and it was Jaryan, relatively quiet in the contest until the big moment, who nodded the ball past Samity custodian Naseem Akhtar off a corner from the tireless Gaurang Dutta.
In an all-Kolkata clash, Sporting called the shots throughout with Dutta and the heroes from the previous match against Langsning FC, Moroccan striker Younes Baltham and Charles, at the centre of all the major manoeuvres.
Dutta was the man in focus in the early stages of the first half with his 19th minute shot from the left going inches wide off the far post. The wiry medio’s enthusiasm saw him penalised with a yellow card four minutes later after a rough tackle on Samity’s Munna Mullick.
Samity’s David KC Ngaihte came close to an equaliser when he struck a powerful, swerving right-footer in the 38th minute but Sporting goalkeeper Arnab Das Sharma was alert to punch the ball to safety.
Sporting increased the pace of the game in the second session with corners and attacks from the flanks coming in a rush, putting Samity on the defensive. Charles’ 49th minute header which went abegging and Jerry Zersingha’s 52nd minute attempt that was ably saved by Akhtar meant Samity remained under pressure. They finally cracked when Jaryan produced that header.
In the first match, Bhawanipore FC and Langsning FC played out a 3-3 draw. Joel (11th), Daniel (73rd) and Victor (90+3) netted for Langsning while Hudson Lima Silva (7th), Mohammed Yosef Masuriqi (26th) and Jagannath Sana (70th) scored for Bhawanipore. Bhawanipore have five points from three matches while Langsning picked up their first point from three games.
Saturday’s match: Rangdajied United FC vs Mumbai Tigers (4 pm).