Mumbai FC made use of their man advantage and managed a narrow victory at home against ONGC.Mumbai FC edged past 10 men ONGC 1-0 in a dull I-League round eight encounter at the Balewadi stadium in Pune, in which a scuffle involving Ashutsoh Mehta, Katsumi Yusa and Haroon Amiri was the biggest talking point.
Evans Quao scored the solitary goal in the 73rd minute of the game, to give his side all three points. Mumbai FC kept faith in the team that held Mohun Bagan to a draw in their last game, while ONGC started with Kailash Patil upfront, with Katsumi Yusa and Eric Brown supporting him from midfield.
The initial stages of the game were dominated by ONGC, with their wingers putting a couple of dangerous crosses into the box, which Patil failed to capitalize on.
Soon though, Mumbai FC found their feet and started dominating, as the away side found it difficult to deal with their direct style.
However, chances were few and far between in the first quarter of the game, with Evans Quao’s snapshot from the edge of the box, which went just wide being the highlight of that period.
The Ghanaian grew in prominence as the half progressed, linking up well with Yusif Yakubu, however they largely failed to get in behind the ONGC backline with another off-target attempt from Quao being the other opportunity of note to fall to Khalid Jamil’s side.
A dull half ended with plenty of drama when Katsumi Yusa was sent off for head-butting Ashutosh Mehta and then being involved in a heated altercation with Haroon Amiri.
In the ensuing protest Hassan Adeola also received a yellow card, as the ONGC officials and players continued to voice their dismay at the decision, with Yusa refusing to leave the pitch. Eventually he was escorted out by his team-mates and the Japanese left in a huff, with the referee about to blow the half-time whistle.
The second half had a stop-start beginning to it as ONGC tried their best to slow down proceedings, taking their time over each free-kick.
Nicholas Rodrigues’ cross was hit wide by substitute Abhishek Yadav, in one of the few real opportunities at the start of the second half.
Gabriel Fernandes then finally tested the keeper, but his drive from the edge of the box was fisted away by Ghosh between the sticks. Justin Stephen then prodded the ball tentatively towards goal but the it was gathered by the keeper as Mumbai FC finally started building some pressure on the defensive away side.
Eventually they got the elusive goal, as Evans Quao headed in a Gabriel Fernandes cross in the 73rd minute, to give his side the lead.
With the Oilmen unable to make much headway up-front, Mumbai FC dominated possession and looked more likelier of the two to score again. However in the end neither could carve out a clear opportunity and the game ended 1-0 in favour of Khalid Jamil’s side.
The result leaves Mumbai FC firmly placed in mid-table while ONGC languish second from bottom with just five points from their opening eight games.
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