I-League: Mumbai FC 2-1 Bharat FC; The home side finish sixth
Bharat FC finished 11th
Mumbai, May 30 (IANS)
Debutants Bharat FC ended the I-League football competition at the 11th place as they lost 1-2 against Mumbai FC at the Cooperage Stadium here on Saturday.
Ashutosh Mehta (10th minute) and Taisuke Matsugae (90+2) scored for Mumbai, who finished the league at the sixth spot with 24 points, while Omar Jarun scored for Bharat FC in the 70th minute.
The home team looked the better outfit from the start and took the lead in the 10th minute from a corner kick. Veteran Climax Lawrence's delivery was met with a towering header from Ashutosh which was buried past a hapless Shahinlal Meloy in goal.
Mumbai continued to exert pressure on the rivals and could have added to the lead had they not wasted some gilt-edged chances. Brazilian striker Josimar Da Silva, Taisuke and Chika Wali failed to capitalize on some clear openings and they went into the break with just a solitary goal to show for their dominance.
Bharat FC started the second half strongly
The visitors were a transformed lot after the change of ends and worked to break through the rival defence. They managed to find the net when Palestine striker Omar chased a long ball and beat the onrushing goalkeeper Kunal Sawant as he deftly lobbed towards an open goal. Abhishek Yadav playing in a defensive role made a valiant effort to head the ball to safety, but failed in the 70th minute.
Bharat FC continued to search for another goal and went all out pushing more men up in attack.
However, that ploy seemed to have backfired as they were caught off guard when from a swift counter Mohammed Rafi hurtled down the right channel and sent in a swerving centre across the rival citadel.
Taisuke who stayed in sync with his teammate darted in and came up with a clinical finish, diving low to head the ball past defender Gouramangi Singh and goalkeeper Shahinlal Meloly to trigger celebrations in the Mumbai camp.
After the loss, Bharat FC remained at the 11th spot with 18 points. But they will not be relegated as part of the league's clause that says any debutant side can't be dropped to the second tier in their first three seasons.