Khalid Jamil's side pick up their first win of the campaign courtesy a late goal from Haroon Amiri, thus ending Arrows unbeaten runMumbai FC came from two goals back to defeat ten men Sporting Clube de Goa 3-2 in an I-League encounter at the Balewadi stadium in Pune.
Obiora Anorue and Dawson fernandes had put the Flaming Oranje ahead, before Gabriel Fernandes in the 24th minute and Justin Stephen in injury time of the first half, leveled the scores. Haroon Amiri then produced a stunning goal in the 89th minute to hand Mumbai FC their first win of the campaign.
Khalid Jamil left Abhishek Yadav and N.D Opara on the bench, preferring Yusif Yakubu to lead the line alone, supported by Ashutosh Mehta behind him.
Ekendra Sen meanwhile was yet again without the services of some key players, with Adil Khan and Keita Boubacar amongst those who missed out. Samananda Singh hence moved into central defense with Obiora Anorue leading the line.
With the hosts in desperate need of points, they attacked vociferously from the off, but failed to find the cutting edge upfront. They were then clinically punished by the visitors, as Obiora latched on to a brilliant Freiman Peixoto ball on the counter-attack, with the striker lobbing Luis Barretto in Mumbai FC’s goal easily.
Mumbai FC’s plight was further worsened when in the 18th minute they failed to deal with a regulation corner, and Dawson Fernandes curled in a spectacular effort from the right wing to double the lead held by Ekendra Sen’s men.
Nicholas Rodrigues and Yusif Yakubu then had chances to halve the deficit for the hosts, but Gerard D’Mello dealt with both the shots rather easily.
However the custodian was to blame when Gabriel Fernandes did get one back for Khalid Jamil’s side, as he failed to hold on to a regulation ball into the box, with the Mumbai FC winger easily putting the ball into the back of an open net.
From then on the Flaming Oranje struggled to clear the ball out of their box, and should have conceded an equalizer, but Ashutosh Mehta took way too much time to unleash a shot, with the goal at his mercy. Samananda Singh then smothered the chance.
It looked like the Goans would hold on to their lead till half-time, but Justin Stephen headed home a ball floated into the box by Nicholas Rodrigues deep into injury time. The referee eventually blew for the break with the score tied at 2-2.
The hosts started the second half like the first, peppering D’Mello’s goal with shots. However the efforts lacked conviction, and failed to really test the custodian, who was the guilty party in both the goals conceded by the visitors.
The Flaming Oranje always looked to hit on the counter, with Obiora providing a good out ball to his side’s defenders.
Abhishek Yadav was thrown on by Khalid Jamil, as Mumbai FC looked to make the most of the lack of aerial presence of Sporting’s diminutive centre-backs.
The Indian International almost made the difference, but his looping header was collected on the stretch by D’Mello. Jayesh Rane then had a good chance from close range to put the hosts ahead, but he fluffed his shot off target.
With Jamil egging his team on, the Mumbai based side continued to hit the ball long towards Yakubu and Yadav and their chances were further boosted by a straight red to Mathew Gonsalves for a very dangerous tackle.
Yakubu then fashioned a chance for his strike partner Abhishek Yadav, but he was unable to sort his legs out in time and failed to test the keeper.
Dawson Fernandes almost produced a sting in the tale, when he was put clean through on goal, but he failed to hit the target, with the goal at his mercy.
To further his misery, Haroon Amiri went on the other end and produced a fabulous finish from the edge of the box to put Mumbai FC ahead in the 89th minute.
Khalid Jamil’s side then held on for the remainder of the game, to register their first points and win of the campaign.