Kolkata, Oct 24 (UNI) Nigerian Mike Okoro gave Mohammedan Sporting their first victory in the Indian league over Mahindra United (1-0) at Yuva Bharati Krirangan here this evening.
The solitary goal came in the 73rd minute from Man-of-the-Match Mike Okoro as he ran down past N P Pradeep to lob over advancing goalkeeper Subhashish Roy Choudhury.
''The win was important for us to be in the reckoning in the competition,'' the shaven headed striker said after the match.
Md Sporting coach Shabbir Ali, who was facing a near-rebellion from his former skipper and regular goalkeeper Nashim Akhtar at fourth round, said the victory was a milestone in the competition.
After a poor 1-1 start with Air India, Md Sporting lost next two plays against Sporting Clube (0-3) and JCT (0-2) and drew 1-1 with Mohun Bagan.
But today's win gave Kolkata's club a jump to five points and Mahindra United remained with three points with only a win against JCT.
Akhtar quit captaincy after Shabbir Ali dropped him in the Mohun Bagan match. Ali was tense all along the play as his trump card Thodore Sunday was rested today for his ankle injury he received with Dipak Mondol of Mohun Bagan.
But Okoro was the best of his touch for the day and scripted a historical triumph for Md Sporting.
As the play progressed, the rivals were evenly poised to make a breakthough. Striker Douhou was first to shot for target but that was a bit wide in the tenth minute. Twenty minutes later Mike Okoro's shot brought off a nice save by Roy Choudhury. He also repulsed a header from Gautam Thakur, who scored his first goal against Mohun Bagan.
Sukhwinder Singh, who scored against JCT in the previous play, had made a valiant attempt but his shot was saved by Md Sporting's Thungshangtarang, who had also put up some good performance against Bagan.
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