I-League Qualifiers: Mohammedan Sporting beat ARA FC 4-1

Mohammedan Sporting made amends of their rusty opening match performance in the I-League Qualifiers as they beat ARA FC 4-1 at the Saltlake Stadium on Sunday.

Nepali striker Abhishek Rijal, making his Mohammedan debut, scored a first half brace (21st and 45th minute), while Willis Plaza (13th) and Sheikh Faiaz (89th) struck one each to hand the Black Panthers their second win from as many matches.

An own goal by Mohammedan Sporting defender Safiul Rahman in the 58th minute reduced the margin for the Ahmedabad-based ARA FC who were playing their first match of the tournament.

The Kolkata side, who scraped past Garwhal FC by a solitary goal in their opening fixture, made six changes to their side and it was Plaza who put the team ahead in the 13th minute after being set up by Vanlalbiaa Chhangte.

Chhangte was once again at the heart of the attack, creating the second goal with 21-year-old Rijal doing the finishing job from the close range.

Just before half-time, Rijal initiated a brilliant team move with a hard tackle on the left flank and continued his run into the rival box, taking the ball off the feet of Chhangte to bury it past the keeper and give his team a 3-0 lead.

Mohammedan capped off a dominant performance with a fourth strike when Faiaz slotted home off a through-ball from substitute Shamsad Ali.

Mohammedan Sporting now have six points after their first two games, with two more to go.

ARA FC are yet to open their account and they still have three more matches left.