Mumbai FC and Mohun Bagan shared the honours as they played out a 1-1 draw at the Cooperage Stadium in Mumbai. The home side drew first blood in the 49th minute. Reisangmei Vashum scored from a floating corner by Jayesh Rane and Mohun Bagan restored parity in the 74th minute, as Dhanachandra Singh scored the goal from Sony Norde’s corner.
Mohun Bagan came into this crucial match to continue their winning momentum. A win would have more or less tightened their grip on the I-League title. Accordingly, Sanjoy Sen’s men attacked from the very first minute.
The away side won a free-kick in the 3rd minute just outside the opposition’s penalty box. Katsumi Yusa attempted a brilliant curling shot which kissed the crossbar and went out. If the shot would have been a little lower, the Kolkata giants could have gone a goal up in the early hours.
After that move, both the teams attacked equally, but failed to open the scoring. In the 19th minute, Mohun Bagan got yet another chance. This time it was young Indian winger Manish Bhargav who cut in the middle and attempted an ambitious shot. Mumbai custodian Sanjiban Ghosh saved it with ease.
In the first half, the young Mumbai FC goalkeeper looked perplexed on the field and fumbled quite a few times. Mohun Bagan attackers targetted the weak point and launched a series of long range shots. However, the scoreline remained the same despite a plethora of Mohun Bagan attacks.
Mumbai FC slowly regained momentum as the match progressed. Vashum and Jayesh Rane operated brilliantly down the flanks and sent in a few delicious crosses towards Josimar.
Just as the game resumed after half-time, Mumbai FC opened their account through Vashum in the 49th minute. Jayesh Rane floated a corner which was not cleared by the Mohun Bagan defenders. Vashum received the ball and calmly scored.
At the hour mark, Katsumi received a ball from Sony Norde’s cross from the left flank. The Japanese attempted to shoot at the goal, but Sanjiban Ghosh did a good job to deny him. Mohun Bagan looked desperate for goals and attacked in numbers. Thrice their attempts were saved by a much confident Ghosh who regained his confidence well.
Finally in the 74th minute, Dhanachandra Singh scored the all-important equalizer from Sony Norde’s corner.
After conceding the goal, Mumbai FC decided to shut shop and were looking to defend in numbers. They seemed content with a point against a formidable opposition. Mohun Bagan wanted a winner, but their attacks were cancelled out well by the Chika Wali-led Mumbai FC defence.
The title race has taken an interesting turn after today’s result. Mohun Bagan are on top with 32 points from 15 games, 4 more than second placed Bengaluru FC and 6 more than fourth-placed East Bengal.