Mumbai FC let mighty Mohun Bagan off the hook, settle for goalless draw

Wednesday, 15 February 2017
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Mumbai FC

Mumbai showed plenty of intent and dominated play for long spells, but they were unlucky not to find the back of the net and were forced to settle for a goalless draw with formidable Mohun Bagan in a thrilling ninth round I-League 2016-2017 match at the Cooperage ground on Wednesday evening.

 Mumbai showed plenty of intent and dominated play for long spells, but they were unlucky not to find the back of the net and were forced to settle for a goalless draw with formidable Mohun Bagan in a thrilling ninth round I-League 2016-2017 match at the Cooperage ground on Wednesday evening.

Santosh Kashyap, head coach of the Mumbai team was disappointed with the result. “I am happy that we played very well. But, I am disappointed that we lost two valuable points against a strong team like Bagan. We dominated the entire first half and could have the killed the match in this half itself,” said Kashyap in the post match press briefing.

Mumbai coach, Santosh Kashyap, made three changes to the side that lost to Chennai City FC in the last game. He started with new signing Brazilian Alex Silva in the midfield along with Farukh Chaudhary and Thoi Singh returning from his marriage in the forwarline. Mehrajuddin Wadoo and Afghan international Djelaludin Sharityar retained their position as the two stopper backs while Munmun Lugun and Raegan Singh as the wing backs. Goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani stayed in goal.

Mumbai took time to get off the blocks, which allowed the visiting Bagan side ro create a couple of chances and Sony Norde tested goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani with a snap long essay in the 13th minute. That proved to be a wake-up call for the home side as they gradually clicked and they started to launch a series of raids at the Bagan goal.

However, they were a bit unlucky not to take the lead on quite a number of occasions in the first period and were also robbed of a goal when Thoi Singh managed to find the net, but referee Tejas Nagvenkar disallowed the goal ruling that the ball deflected into goal after hitting Anderson Da Silva who was in an offside position.

The Mumbai team was also denied by the framework when Choudhary did well to lunge forward to meet Thoi’s floater from the right. Choudhary’s diving header had goalkeeper Debjith Majumder beaten, but to his and the team’s misfortune the ball came back off the upright in the 32nd minute. Earlier, Silva came close to scoring from two well executed free-kicks but goalkeeper Majumder parried the shots away for corners.

The Mumbai side once again came close to taking the lead but successive attempts from Choudhary, Silva and finally Theobald’s try from close was saved by an alert goalkeeper Majumder who did well to push the ball away from a melee and the two teams went into the break without disturbing the scoreboard.

The second half did not witness much of goal-mouth action and there was hardly much attempts created at either end and the game finished in stalemate.

Mumbai goalkeeper Kattimani was declared ‘Man of the match’ with the trophy being handed out by one of India's most prominent fashion designers, Ms. Archana Kochhar.

The Mumbai team in the process maintained their unbeaten run against Bagan at home. The last meeting also ended in a goalless draw and the previous year the match finished in a 1-1 draw.

This was the first draw for Mumbai, who now tally seven points from nine games and are placed in eighth position, while Bagan with 18 points from eight matches stay in second position behind East Bengal (21 points, 9 games).

Mumbai will next take on defending champions Bengaluru FC in a 10th round match at the Cooperage ground on Saturday, February 18.

Results: Mumbai 0 drew with Mohun Bagan 0.