Sanjoy Sen’s side won their final game of the season and would hope that the result goes in their favour when Churchill Brothers meet Salgaocar FC in Goa…
Mohammedan Sporting registered three crucial points as they came back from being a goal down against Mumbai FC to win 2-1 at the Shi Chhatrapati Sports Stadium, Pune. Ebi Sukore put the home side ahead in the 20th minute which was cancelled out by Taro Hasegawa’s effort soon after. Penn Orji scored the winner in the 85th minute which gives the Kolkata outfit a chance to avoid relegation.
Mohammedan are now with 24 points and would hope that Churchill Brothers (22 points) do not pick three points against Salgaocar FC whom they play the Tilak Maidan, Goa on Monday.
Khalid Jamil made as many six changes to the side that thrashed Churchill Brothers as Kunal Sawant, Ritesh Perambra, Ahmad Hatifie, Ebi Sukore, Nicholas Rodrigues and Dane Pereira made their way in.
Ashok Singh, Syed Rahim Nabi, Nirmal Chettri and Taro Hasegawa were included in the starting line-up by Sanjoy Sen.
Mumbai FC had the first chance of the game when Dane Pereira’s attempt from outside the box just about missed the target by inches in the sixth minute.
Penn Orji did well to win the ball and send it for Josimar but Kunal Sawant came off his line and outside the box to clear the danger.
In th14th minute, Basanta Singh’s cross from the right evaded everyone and reached Hasegawa’s feet. The Japanese midfielder shot it wide from inside the box, much to the disappointment of the Mohammedan bench.
However it was Mumbai FC who surged ahead in the 20th minute. Rahul Bheke’s throw-in from the right was headed home by Ebi Sukore with the Mohammedan defenders caught napping.
The lead lasted only for five minutes as Hasegawa made amends for his earlier miss. He twisted and turned Bheke before seeing his shot hit the crossbar on its way in.
Thereafter they had a brilliant chance to take the lead in the 29th minute. Basanta Singh found Josimar on the right who squared it for Orji. The Nigerian squandered the opportunity from handshaking distance despite not being under pressure when all he had to do was tap-in.
Hatifie and Sukore combined with the latter’s header going over the bar while the former’s shot from outside the box missed the far post.
Luciano Sobrosa was at hand to deny Nicholas Rodrigues whose volleyed effort looked set to go in.
Just before the half-time whistle, Josimar only had the goalkeeper to beat but the custodian did well to block his attempt and keep the score-line intact.
In the second half, Mohammedan looked the better side as they created several chances. Penn Orji sent a ball across the face of goal which was cleared by Anwar.
Sawant had to come off his line again to deny Josimar in the 53rd minute and the Brazilian missed another chance three minutes later after a good build-up by Orji.
Around the hour mark, Hasegawa’s corner-kick was cleared as far as Orji whose shot was brilliantly kept out by Sawant. Josimar picked up the pieces and slot it into the orbit from handshaking distance.
At the other end, Sukore had a chance as his shot from inside the box was kept out by Ashok Singh.
In the 74th minute, the corner-kick wasn’t cleared well by Mumbai FC and Sobrosa slammed the ball as Sawant covered his near post to deny the Brazilian.
The winner was scored in the 85th minute as Ashok Singh’s goal-kick was chested down by Josimar who put in Orji’s path whose left footed effort found the back of the net.
Mumbai FC couldn’t muster a comeback with several of their first team players missing the action which meant that the battle to avoid the drop would go on until the last day of the season.