Mumbai FC earn royal draw with Wahingdoh

A resilient Mumbai FC worked hard to share honours with Royal Wahingdoh, playing out a 1-1 draw in a 19th round I-League match played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong on Sunday. Mumbai FC’s Brazilian striker Josimar Da Silva scored the opening goal of the match in 23rd minute before the Shillong club equalised through Kim Seong-Yong’s strike in the 59thminute. Playwin is the official sponsor of Mumbai FC.

This was an ideal result for the Mumbai side considering that they started their third game without coach Khalid Jamil, serving a 4-game suspension imposed by the AIFF, and their industrious midfielder Taisuke Matsugae, still recovering for a calf injury. The 1-1 stalemate was the third successive draw for the Mumbai club from away games after they had drawn against East Bengal and Sporting Clube Goa by identical margins in the earlier rounds.

Manager Henry Picardo, who made two changes to the starting line-up bringing in Colin Abranches and Reisangmi Vashum for Climax Lawrence and Abhishek Yadav,  was very happy with the performance of the team and very satisfied with the draw. “The boys played really very well. They were impressive by playing good positive and constructive football. The draw was satisfying considering that Wahingdoh were trying to play for a win, which would have enhanced their points tally as they are in the race for the title,” stated Picardo after the game.

The exchanges initially were even before Mumbai FC managed to get an early goal when Mohammed Rafi crossed from the left and Josimar unchallenged at the far post headed firmly into the goal.

However, Mumbai FC were not able to defend the advantage and conceded a soft goal by the hour mark. Following a floater from the right Mumbai FC’s reliable goalkeeper misread the flight of the ball and provided Wahingdoh’s Korean striker Kim a free header.

“We did well to take the lead but a slight lapse in concentration allowed them (Wahingdoh) to equalise and we had to settle for a point, which anyways is good for us and we now have to focus for our next match on May 2. That would give us sufficient time to recover after being on the road and playing 3 tough matches in 9 day,” pointed out Picardo.

Mumbai FC with 16 points from 3 wins and 7 draws in 16 games are currently placed in 8th position, while Royal Wahingdoh with 27 points from 7 wins and 6 draws in 17 games have moved to 3rd place behind leaders Mohun Bagan (31 points) and Bengaluru FC (28 points).

Mumbai FC will now return to base for a home fixture against table toppers Mohun Bagan onSaturday, May 2.

As a noble gesture the organisers and both the teams observed a minutes silence before the kick-off as a mark of respect for victims of the devastating earthquake which rocked Nepal and northern regions of India.

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