In a well contested game, Bagan had the better chances but failed to make the most of their opportunities and had to settle for a point.Mohun Bagan could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Mumbai FC in a round 14 I-League encounter at the Kalyani Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. A goal from Mohammed Rafi ten minutes into the game was cancelled out by a strike by C.S. Sabeeth in the 80th minute.
Both Karim Bencherifa and Khalid Jamil kept their starting eleven unchanged after impressive victories in their previous encounters. Christopher Chizoba was employed just behind Odafa Okolie while Haroon Amiri started as a central defensive midfielder.
The home side got their first chance in the third minute when Chizoba fed Ram Malik with a sublime pass over the Mumbai FC defense, but a horrible first touch from the starlet saw the move break down and the ball went out for a goal-kick.
However, it was the travelling side who broke the deadlock in the 10th minute courtesy of a brilliant volley by Mohammed Rafi. After Nicholas Rodrigues had sent in a corner-kick from the right, Anwar Ali headed it inside the box and Rafi was completely unmarked six yards from goal to unleash a thumping shot that gave Sandip Nandy no chance.
In the 16th minute, Yakubu played a neat one-two with Rafi and unleashed a shot but his rather tame effort was comfortably collected by Nandy in goal.
After a number of half-chances, Mohun Bagan had their best sight at goal in the 24th minute when Manish Bhargav had acres of space to work with but his hesitancy let him down as his shot was saved well by Sandesh.
It was Manish in the thick of things once more from Denson's pass into the box in the 40th minute. He failed to find the target with attempt at lobbing it over an onrushing Nidhin Lal.
Two minutes after the break, Anyichie Echezona failed to recover and allowed Rafi enough space and time to shot which went over the bar.In the 55th minute, a good run from Pritam down the right ended in a pass to Sabeeth who sent in a good cross for Odafa. The Nigerian, who was left unmarked inside the box, saw his tame header go off target.
With only ten minutes to go, Sabeeth equalized for the hosts. The Kerala striker dribbled past a number of Mumbai FC players including the goalkeeper and calmly slotted the ball home after receiving another great pass from Denson.
Bagan were lucky not to concede as Yakubu’s header failed to find the target after being unmarked inside the box from a corner-kick.
At full-time, the draw saw both sides maintain their position in mid-table with 15 points each.
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