Sreenidi Deccan go down fighting to Mohun Bagan in Kalinga Super Cup opener

9th January, Bhubaneswar: Sreenidi Deccan Football Club on Tuesday were pipped to a 1-2 defeat by Mohun Bagan Super Giant in the opening round of fixtures in the Kalinga Super Cup football tournament being held here at the Kalinga stadium. Goals from Jason Cummings and Armando Sadiku helped the Mariners to three points in this Group A game against the Deccan Warriors who had taken the lead through William Alves.

Both sides were well matched in the opening stages of the game, feeling each other out by zipping the ball about on the watered Kalinga surface. Mohun Bagan created the first opening in the 10th minute as Dimitri Petratos hung a cross from the left for Sadiku but Sreenidi Deccan defender Gurmukh Singh headed it away. A few minutes later, Lalromawia produced the Hyderabad-based team’s first effort as his long range shot dipped close to the crossbar but did not trouble goalkeeper Arsh Shaikh.

It was Sreenidi Deccan who took the lead close to the half hour mark as Lalromawia was fouled in the box by Sumit Rathi and William converted the resulting spot kick without any fuss. The lead lasted barely 10 minutes as Mohun Bagan found an equaliser in the 39th minute. Midfielder Abhishek Suryavanshi pounced on a loose ball and attempted a long range curler which rebounded off the crossbar and Cummings was the first to react as he tapped it in.

The second half saw a more controlled display from both sides in an effort to gain the upper hand. It was right-back Asish Rai who played a key role in giving Mohun Bagan the lead in the 71st minute as he controlled a long ball and raced down the right to cross for Sadiku who tapped in. Replays suggest the Albanian striker was offside but the goal stood. From there on, it was all Sreenidi Deccan as they fought tooth and nail to draw level but it wasn’t to be.