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I-League: Mumbai FC hold East Bengal for a 1-1 draw

SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 18 Apr 2015, 20:44 IST
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Nidhin Lal saved Ranti Martins’ penalty to deny East Bengal 3 points

East Bengal’s winning streak comes to an as they manage a 1-1 draw against Mumbai FC at the Salt Lake Stadium. Josimar D’Silva scored the opening goal of the game in the 33rd minute from the penalty spot. Dudu Omagbemi equalized in the 56th minute. In the 71st minute, Ranti Martins’ penalty was saved to deny East Bengal the lead.

East Bengal were on a golden run  prior to this game, picking up all the 6 points from their previous two encounters in Pune. They had also defeated Balestier Khalsa in the AFC Cup group game with a second string side.

The match began on a dull note as both the sides were cancelling each other in the midfield area. East Bengal were marginally more dominant. East Bengal created better chances, but Mumbai FC defenders and goalkeeper Nidhin Lal did a commendable job to deny the home side.

The breakthrough came in the 33rd minute when Harmanjyot Khabra handled the ball inside the penalty box with Josimar eventually converting it into a goal with a clinical finish to give Mumbai FC the lead. East Bengal thereafter struggled to restore parity.

In the second half, the home side came all guns blazing and were attacking in numbers. They finally equalized in the 56th minute after winning a free-kick. Robert took the set-piece, and Dudu Omagbemi successfully put it in with an opportunistic header from the curling shot.

In the 65th minute, Cavin Lobo received a wonderful ball inside the penalty box, and dribbling past a defender, he attempted a shot. However, the pile driver hit the crossbar and came back.

Few minutes later, Nidhin Lal brought down Ranti Martins inside the box and a penalty was awarded. Top scorer Ranti Martins got the golden opportunity to score his 200th goal in the I-League, but his attempt was brilliantly saved.

East Bengal failed to open the goal mouth as the Mumbai FC players were defending in numbers. Taisuke attempted a few shots at goal from counter-attacks, but Luis Barreto denied him.

The home side lost a good opportunity to climb up the table as they could have gone up to the third position with today’s victory.

Published 18 Apr 2015, 20:28 IST
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