Mumbai FC's woeful run of six straight losses was brought to an end following a goalless draw against Kolkata heavyweights Mohun Bagan, at the Cooperageground, on Wednesday, 15th February.
The match witnessed an improved Yellow and Blues, especially with the addition of foreign players into the team. Commenting on the result, boss Santosh Kashyap believed that the hosts could have sealed the result in the first 45 minutes. Further, he added that he was content with his side's efforts, nonetheless.
''We could have killed the game in the first half itself. I’m satisfied with the fantastic performance. And, I believe results will follow,'' he expressed in the immediate aftermath of the game.
The hosts were denied a stunning goal in the 18th minute when Thoi Singh's long-ranger from the right flank went past The Mariners 'keeper Debjit Majumder. The match official disallowed the goal for reasons unknown. Speaking about the decision, Kashyap revealed,''I’m suffering (with referees' decisions) every match. I think the disallowed goal was unlucky, that’s all I can say.''
The one point pocketed from the 0-0 draw against Sanjoy Sen and company is indeed a notable achievement for The Mumbaikars. However, despite the draw, the Essel Group-owned team is eighth on the points table, still too close to the relegation zone. On being asked if the relegation fear concerns the club, the former Royal Wahingdoh gaffer denied it.
''There is absolutely no chance of relegation concerning us. We are focused on our top three target,'' he concluded.
Sanjoy Sen, on the other hand, thought his team Mohun Bagan dominated the latter half of the tie. However, the 2014-15 I-League winning manager was gutted at having missed a chance to clinch the three points at Cooperage, yet again.
''We dominated the second half, especially in the last 30 minutes, when we put tremendous pressure. This is the third time we failed to win in Mumbai. That’s the ultimate summary,'' he explained.
India's Jeje Lalpekhlua was only named among the substitutes for the Maroon and Green brigade for this tie. The boss explained the reason for his exclusion from the starting XI by stating that the squad had opted for a different formation altogether. This took place due to Subashish Bose's absence, as the young defender suffered a knock during the Kolkata derby, in Siliguri.
''Since Subashish Bose got injured in the last game, we had to change the set-up. We had to put one U22 player so Azharuddin (Mallick) was brought on. We can't keep the U-22 player out. So that’s the only reason why Jeje (Lalpekhlua) was kept out,'' revealed the 53 year-old gaffer.
The Yellow Army host Albert Roca's Bengaluru side in their next home fixture whereas the Mariners will welcome Loni-based outfit DSK Shivajians to Kolkata, on Saturday.