Mumbai FC force Bagan to share honours in goalless draw

Mumbai FC force Bagan to share honours 

in goalless draw

Mumbai, February 10: Mumbai FC ground out a honourable goalless draw with defending champions Mohun Bagan in a sixth round match of the 2015-2016 AIFF Hero I-League football tournament, and played at the Cooperage ground.

There was not much of constructive play from either team in the first half. Mumbai FC, starting with N.P. Pradeep who came into the team and was give the added responsibility of stand-in captain in place on the injured Taisuke Matsugae, played at a slow pace and was content on holding on to ball possession and denying the Kolkata outfit from trying to force the pace.

Pradeep along with Izumi Arata and Eric Brown were not creative and instead worked in tandem with the defenders and did well to keep the ball away from the rival attackers.

During the opening there was just a couple of clear attempts at goal. In the 15th minute Brown with a scorching 35-yard free-kick tested the Bagan goalkeeper Debjit Majumdar, but the latter was equal to the attempt diving to his left to fist the ball away. A further 13 minutes later, Mumbai FC goalkeeper Pawan Kumar made a fantastic save off Jeje Lalpekhula’s snap try from the edge of the box. Pawan Kumar once again made a great save essay pushing away Sony Norde’s curling free-kick in stoppage time of the first half.

The complexion of the match changed in the second half with Bagan finding their rhythm as captain Katsumi Yusa made some darting runs down the right flank and had Mumbai FC’s left wing back chasing his shadow. In the 68th minute Yusa worked his way down right channel and after getting past Dias he sent a low cross for Norde who did well to meet the pass, but his on the run attempt crashed into the near post much to the relief the Mumbai FC camp. Later from a swift counter Norde created a chance for Yusa, but he could only manage a feeble shot straight into the hand of goalkeeper Kumar in the 82nd minute.

There remaining period also failed to yield a goal and the teams were forced to settle for a draw and division of two points.

Mumbai FC with 9 points from 6 games remain in fourth position while champions Bagan with 11 points from 5 games stay in third place behind leaders Bengaluru FC (15 points) and East Bengal (14 points).

Mumbai FC, next travel to Goa to take on Sporting Clube de Goa on Sunday, February 14.

Result – Mumbai FC 0 drew with Mohun Bagan 0. Man-of-the-match: Izumi Arata (Mumbai FC).