Khalid Jamil's side are still in search of their first three points at home as they could only snatch a point against Rangdajied...
In what was billed as a relegation six-pointer, Mumbai FC and Rangdajied United played an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune. The visitors were dominant in the first half and were rewarded with a Manandeep Singh strike which was cancelled by Ashutosh Mehta after the break as the two teams settled for a point each.
Mumbai FC made three changes to their line-up with Ashutosh Mehta, Kamaljeet Kumar and Rohit Mirza making their way in. Meanwhile Rangdajied United introduced their new signing Seong-Yon Kim upfront.
The action in the first 20 minutes was a drab affair as neither Mumbai nor Rangdajied had the virulence in attack to ensure the goalkeepers were heavily involved. Mumbai FC had an early free-kick from thirty yards out to the right of the Rangdajied goal. Yet the set piece landed straight into Paul's hands.
Nidhin Lal then made a hash of punching the ball from a David Ngaihte cross and the subsequent clearances weren't satisfactory from Mumbai's defense as Yohwei Iwasaki stole the ball and was fouled in the process of setting up a chance by Sanjdar Ahmadi on the edge of the box. Kim Yong's set-piece though landed up and wide into the stands.
Just after the half hour mark, Ngaihte stole the ball on the right of the field and his diagonal shot across the face of goal wasn't take care of by the keeper, who allowed it to rebound of the far post before Manandeep Singh pounced to give Rangdajied the lead.
Six minutes later, another moment of unrest gripped the Mumbai defense as they had to scramble to get a loopy free-kick from near the half line away. The clearance was shoddy one as Joy Chandra Singh latched onto a shot from outside the area which narrowly missed the far post.
After the break, neither side could initiate an attack until the hour mark when the equalizer was scored. Hashmatullah Barakzai’s attempt was deflected with Ashutosh Mehta being on hand to slot the ball home.
In the 76th minute, Seong-Yon set up Manandeep for a shot on the edge of the box. The eventual shot dipped which allowed the custodian to parry onto the path of Ngaihte who had the entire goal to his begging but instead shot over the bar.
Mumbai FC too had their chance to win the tie as Ahmadi’s volley just about missed the right post as Subrata Paul was left stranded.
Seong-Yon had a glorious opportunity as he combined with Manandeep with the latter setting it up for the Korea DPR striker whose shot was saved by Nidhin Lal.
The score-line remained the same until the final whistle with the Mumbai defense being tested on a couple of more occasions in the injury time.
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