In a completely beguiling encounter at the Balewadi Sports Complex, Mumbai FC and United Sports club slugged it out for a draw, in a match that almost lived up to the billing that it was built up to.
The home team could have found themselves behind in the opening five minutes when Ranti Martins through on goal couldn’t quite add the finishing touch as his attempt hit the goal post. However, United SC redeemed themselves by opening the scoring through a well-timed counter attack finished out by Vineeth CK, who was a lively spear point throughout the match for the Purple brigade.
Mumbai FC soon fought back, and almost immediately after United SC’s opener as they scored through Sanjdar Ahmadi, their latest Afghan recruit. The match remained cagey thereafter right up to the referee’s final whistle with the rest of the notable chances befalling United SC, who didn’t convert any of them.
The match ended in ignominy with players of both sets clashing during the latter stages of the match and continuing to take their fight well after the final whistle had blown.
When Jamil was confronted with the fact that his team have yet to win any of their home encounters, he elucidated, “It will come soon. No doubt about it. We will set things right. We don’t want to make it a burden on us.”
“We played to our strategy of pressing them when they passed it to their goalkeeper, and they almost made a hash of it a few times. But it was okay,” admitted Jamil.
“We could’ve have been tired, yes. We had taken the start a little too easily and that’s why they scored. Thanks to Sanjdar we scored and brought the game back to one all. Given the chances we had in the second half, we could have won,” he added.
He also added that a fit and firing Yusif Yakubu would join them soon.
“Yakubu is a fit and experienced player, he’s good the way he is and won’t need to be acclimatized as he will be match fit.”
On being quizzed on why Haroon Amiri didn’t advance fairly up the pitch as compared to his previous performances, Jamil replied, “Amiri didn’t get the chance to but he sure wanted to bomb forward. The opposition held their ground well and brought on two fresh strikers so we needed to keep a hold on them. If they hadn’t brought on those refreshed figures, we’d have brought Amiri forward and then the complexion of the game would’ve changed.”
In conjugation he said, “We didn’t use our substitutions well. We would have tried to put Haroon up front if those substitutions had worked.”
Finally he concluded by stating that he had no idea on what the scuffle at the end of the match was about and that he had ordered his players to stay away from trouble.
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