The Pilots register their second win on the trot with a comfortable 4-1 win over rivals Mumbai FC
Ezeh Henry opened the scoring in the 36th minute, before Mick Fernandes doubled the Airmen’s lead in the 40th minute.Yusif Yakubu pulled one back in injury time of the first half, but goals from Vijith Shetty and Souvik Chakraborty in the second half handed the hosts a comfortable win.
Air India, in a desperate need of a win, started with Ezeh Henry and E. Junior upfront, while Sukhwinder Singh took his place in-between the sticks.
Khalid Jamil meanwhile gave Ashutosh Mehta a start in midfield, leaving Subhas Chakraborty on the bench. Yusif Yakubu and Gabriel Fernandes meanwhile spearheaded their side’s attack.
The first quarter of the game provided little in terms of action infront of the goalmouth, with Vijith Shetty’s effort from a corner and Yusif Yakubu’s effort from a tight angle being the highlights. Neither of the shots even failed to hit the target.
Finally Gabriel Fernandes added some spark to the game, when he unleashed a ferocious drive from the edge of the box, that beat Sukhwinder all ends up. The Goan though was left clutching his head in his hands, as the shot rebounded back into play, off the post.
Micky Fernandes replied for the Airmen with a freekick of his own, which Luis Barreto was forced to fist wide, as finally the two sides showed some invention in attack.
And in the 36th minute, Ezeh Henry gave his side the lead with a deft finish, after Junior led a counter-attack from a Mumbai FC freekick, before finding his strike partner, who profited from a slip by Haroon Amiri and confidently placed the ball past Barreto.
Anthony Fernandes at the touchline could barely believe his eyes, when Micky Fernandes doubled his side’s advantage with a stunning volley, after a clearance from Souvik Chakraborty’s corner fell kindly for him in the 40th minute.
Mumbai FC then poured forward, as they looked to pull a goal back before half-time, and in injury time of the first half, managed to do so. James Singh found Gabriel Fernandes with a good ball into the right channel. The forward showed great skill to dribble past two players and set-up Yusif Yakubu, who made no mistake in burying the ball home, in what proved to be the last bit of real action of the half.
The away side looked to press for an equalizer straight from the whistle in the second half, and Mehta’s cross early on was met by a thumping header by substitute Abhishek Yadav. Sukhwinder Singh though, pulled off a point-blank save, to keep his side ahead.
He was again called into action by Gabriel Fernandes, who linked up well with Yakubu, before unleashing a curling effort, which required the custodian to make a save at full stretch. Sukhwinder then followed it up with an unbelieveable save from Evans Quao’s header from a corner, as Mumbai FC piled on the pressure, in search of a leveler.
Yakubu then hit the post with a thunderous drive from 25 yards, as Khalid Jamil’s side punched holes into the Airmen’s defense but failed to find the back of the net repeatedly.
And when Ashutosh Mehta did beat the keeper, he found the offside flag raised, much to his chagrin.
Air India then restored their two goal advantage against the run of play, when Souvik did well to cut into the box on a counter, and squared the ball to Vijith Shetty, who made no mistake in finding the back of the net in the 72nd minute.
Sukhwinder Singh was having a game of a lifetime on the other end, as he kept out Gabriel Fernandes’ effort, as the away side grew increasingly frustrated with their inability to beat the keeper.
On one attempt, when the custodian failed to deal with a cross, Yadav was unable to direct his acrobatic effort goal wards to sum up the kind of evening his side was having.
Souvik Chakraborty added to Khalid Jamil’s woes, when he tapped the ball home in the 94th minute, after Barreto failed to hold on to Shetty’s initial effort.
Eventually the referee put Khalid Jamil’s side out of their misery, as he blew the final whistle. The defeat ended a 5 match unbeaten streak of the Mumbai based side, while Air India moved to 10 points after 9 games.
How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.