Determined Mumbai FC knock down East Bengal

Mumbai FC produced a spirited performance to see off a strong East Bengal side 2-1 in the Hero I-League game at Cooperage on 20th May 2015. The win eased Mumbai FC’s relegation woes after they moved into sixth position in the table.

Khalid Jamil was able to welcome back Japanese midfielder Taisuke Matsugae for his first start since his injury against Salgaocar. Jamil paired him with veteran Climax Lawrence for the first time since the start this season.

Mumbai FC needed a win to boost their survival hopes after all the teams below them closed down the gap on them before kick off.

The hosts got off to a dream start when Paresh Shivalkar fired home an emphatic free kick on the edge of the box in the 3rd minute after Taisuke Matsugae’s nimble feet earned them the chance to do so from a free kick.

Stunned by the early setback, East Bengal tried to gather their thoughts but very nearly found themselves 2-0 down when Jayesh Rane released Josimar Da Silva through on goal in the 7th minute but the Brazilian’s shot was blocked.

Two minutes later the duo combined again when Jayesh Rane’s clever dinged pass from the left wing was met by Josimar whose chipped effort over the onrushing goalkeeper failed to dip enough in the 9th minute.

But Mumbai’s rampant early start proved too hot for East Bengal to handle as they doubled their lead in the 15th minute when a brilliantly crafted long ball from Climax Lawrence found Josimar Da Silva in acres of space behind the East Bengal defense as the Brazilian kept his nerve to slot past Abhijit Mondal to send Cooperage in delirium.

The Kolkata outfit were completely stunned by Mumbai FC’s quick start and the hosts were unlucky not to add a third goal in the 24th minute when Taisuke Matsugae’s header struck the crossbar.

Eelco Schattorie made a change in the 30th minute when he threw Leon Bertos in place of Sukhwinder Singh as he bid to change the course of the game.

Leon Bertos made a positive impact for the Red & Golds as they managed to stem the flow of Mumbai attacks and pegged them back in their own half to a certain extent.

Harmanjot Singh Khabra came close in the 38th minute when he cut in on his left foot to send a curler at the far post which eventually went inches wide of the goal.

But East Bengal found a way past the resolute East Bengal defence in the 42nd minute when a clever through ball from substitute Leon Bertos was fired past Kunal Sawant by Ranti Martins to bring East Bengal right back in the contest.

Half time came at a right time for the hosts as they held off a East Bengal rally late in the first half to go into the interval 2-1 in front.

East Bengal started the second half just as they ended the first one, by holding the Mumbai goal under siege. Khalid Jamil instilled fresh legs into the team as he replaced Climax Lawrence with Shilton D’Silva in the 54th minute.

Ranti Martins missed a great chance to pull East Bengal level in the 62nd minute when he headed wide from a beautiful Malsawmtulunga cross. It was a poor miss from the great Nigerian’s standards.

A minute later, Mohammed Rafi almost made Ranti Martins regret his miss when a breathtaking run saw him beat three East Bengal defenders to fire a shot at goal which was brilliantly kept out by Abhijit Mondal.

The great East Bengal Custrodian was called into action once again when a brilliant move from Mumbai FC saw Mohammed Rafi escape his marker drill a low shot on goal from a rather tight angle but Abhijit Mondal was alert enough to parry it away for a corner.

Mumbai FC were forced into a change in the 73rd minute when Josimar Da Silva had to come off injured to be replaced by Abhishek Yadav.

Mumbai FC retreated back into their own half as the half progressed resisting the pressure put by East Bengal.

The game got beyond East Bengal in the 87th minute when Leon Bertos was sent off for a second bookable offence leaving bthe visitors with ten men as they aimed to grind out an equalizer.

The eleven men of Mumbai FC had too much energy for the ten men of East Bengal as they closed out a first win since February to ease the relegation fears.

The win lifted Mumbai FC to sixth place in the table and three points clear of the danger zone.

Taisuke Matsugae had another inspired game for Mumbai FC as his energy proved to be the difference between the two sides.

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