Khalid Jamil will be delighted to get all three points in Kolkata, as Eelco Schattorie is resigned to his second loss on the trot.
Mumbai FC continued their good run of form as they downed Prayag United 3-2 at the Salt Lake Stadium on a Sunday afternoon in round nine of the I-League. Khalid Jamil's side have now picked up 13 points from a possible 15 in their last five games while his counterpart has been resigned to his second successive loss.
Ranti Martins gave his side the lead in the 29th minute which was cancelled out by Evans Quao at the start of the second half. Substitute Abhishek Yadav made it 2-1 in the 82nd minute and three points looked set in Mumbai FC's bag. However Shakar Oraon bagged an equaliser in the injury time. A moment of brilliance by Yusif Yakubu handed the away side a vital victory as Eelco Schattorie would have to ponder on his side's defensive problems.
Eelco Schattorie brought back Carlos Hernandez into the starting XI and Dhanachandra Singh was slotted in replace Sukhen Dey at left back as the latter carried a knock. Subrata Paul was dropped from the lineup after a string of poor performances and former Mumbai FC custodian Ishan Debnath was handed a start.
Meanwhile Khalid Jamil elected to go with an unchanged squad from the one that edged past ONGC FC last time around. Gabriel Fernandes partnered Yusif Yakubu in attack while Subhash Chakrabarty and Nicholas Rodrigues started in either flanks.
Mumbai FC began the better of the two teams as they pressed hard to win every ball but it was Prayag United who fashioned the first real opening of the match as Ranti Martins shot after CK Vineeth had miskicked the ball from a corner. However Gabriel Fernandes was at hand as he headed the ball out at the goal line which after goalkeeper Luis Barreto had misjudged the flight of the corner as he went to catch it.
On the counter it was the away side who almost took advantage of the missed chance at the other end. After good interlinking play between Yusif Yakubu and Evans Quao, the latter found space on the right and let loose a fierce shot. Ishan Debnath did ever so well to tip it over the bar.
Before twenty minutes had passed, CK Vineeth had two chances as he broke down the flanks but on both occasions he had to take a shot himself, as there were no supporting players in the penalty box. Luis Barreto did not have to do much to save either of the two shots.
Gabriel Fernandes should have put his side into the lead in the 28th minute after Darren Caldeira picked out the striker with ease from the left. However Gabriel made a total hash of the opportunity and a clear chance to score was wasted.
Just before the half hour mark, the home team made Mumbai FC pay for wasting chances as K. Asif played a delightful lobbed ball from midfield to find Ranti Martins on the right who beat his marker, Justine Stephen before unleashing a left footed shot to beat the goalkeeper with ease.
CK Vineeth and Carlos Hernandez wasted two more chances just after the half hour mark as the Mumbai defense was put to the sword. Carlos showed some brilliant touches as he dribbled past two Mumbai defenders but the lack of finishing was the bane for the home team once again.
Just at the stroke of half time Mumbai FC missed a glorious chance for an equaliser. It was Yusif Yakubu who directed a close header straight to Debnath in goal, after Evans Quao had done ever so well.
After the changeover, Evans Quao again found Yakubu unmarked on the far post with a good cross, but the Ghanaian repeated his first half act and shot straight to the Prayag goalkeeper.
Mumbai FC did not have to wait long, as in the 52nd minute they got the all elusive equaliser. A Nicholas Rodrigues' freekick from the right, almost at the half line, this time found the impressive Evans at the far post, who made no mistake and buried the ball past Debnath who stood no chance.
Just four minutes later, Evans Quao could have doubled the lead as he broke through the middle with the Prayag central defenders failing to make a tackle, and his fierce shot beat Ishan all ends up but the crossbar denied the Ghanaian from his moment of glory.
With less than seven minutes of regulation time remaining, substitute Abhishek Yadav toe poked his team to the lead as Nicholas Rodrigues swung in a great corner with at least three Mumbai FC players able to get at the end of the ball. It was an inspired substitution from Jamil as Yadav had come in just about ten seconds before.
However the joy of the home side was short lived, as the veteran Yusif Yakubu made the most of a gap in communication between Lal Kamal Bhowmick and Debnath. Yakubu beat the goalkeeper easily with a swerving lob after he had come out of the box, winning the match for Khalid Jamil.
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