Mumbai FC edged out by Pune FC in the Maharashtra Derby

I league

Mumbai FC suffered their third loss on the spin in the Hero I-League 2015, as they went down 3-2 away to state rivals Pune FC in this season’s first Maharshtra Derby at the Shri Shiv Chatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Balewadi, Pune on 1st February 2015.

The victory sent Pune FC to the top of the I-League while Mumbai FC remained rock bottom and without a single point. It was an entertaining game of football as both sides went for it right from the start with local bragging rights.

Pune FC got off to a dream start as they took the lead in the 7th minute through Lusiano Sabrosa whose header from a well taken corner took a fortuitous deflection before going past the Mumbai FC goalkeeper Nidhinlal.

Mumbai FC very nearly equalized a minute later when, Milagres Gonsalves flicked on a typical Mumbai FC throw in goalwards. But his effort was straight at Amrinder who was in goal for the hosts.

But the visitors made no mistakes in the 11th minute when Cletus Paul delivered a long throw deep into the Pune box which was met by Milagres Gonsalves as Amrinder failed to collect the resultant effort which rebounded off from a Pune FC player to fall in Josimar Da Silva’s path who made no mistakes in drawing Mumbai FC level.

Mumbai FC very nearly took the lead three minutes later when Rodrigues’ corner almost sneaked in at the far post only for Amrinder’s heroics, who kept it out.

Pune FC then forced a save off Nidhinlal in the 18th minute, when Arata fine low shot was saved by the diving Mumbai FC shot stopper. Mumbai FC did well in the next few minutes to reduce Pune FC’s chances as the hosts were finding it tough to create openings.

But the visitors nearly created one in the 28th minute when Milagres Gonsalves eased past a couple of defenders to unleash an effort which went just wide of Amrinder’s goal.

But it was the hosts who struck against the run of play at the half hour mark as Darko Nikac headed home a Marcelino corner to give Pune FC a 2-1 lead. It was a poor piece of defending from the visitors and they were made to pay by the hosts.

Mumbai FC missed a great chance to be level again on 38 minutes when Cletus Paul failed to take advantage of a poor clearance from Amrinder.

Pune FC went into the break with their 2-1 lead intact. It was a good first half with chances for both sides. Both the teams needed to tighten up at the back in the second half.

The second saw Edgar Marcelino booked in just the third minute of the half after a nasty tackle on Ashutosh Mehta. Two minutes later, Mumbai players lodged appeals for Edgar Marcelino to be sent off after he was reckless with a tackle again.

Mumbai FC were forced into a change in the 58th minute, when veteran Climax Lawrence was stretched off to be replaced by R. Vashum.

Taisuke Matsugae failed to equalize for Mumbai FC in the 67th minute when the Japanese failed to convert after being picked out by Ashutosh Mehta.

Edgar Marcelino unleashed a pile driver at the Mumbai FC goal which was somehow kept out by Nidhinlal but only at the expense of a corner in the 79th minute. Two minutes later, Cletus Paul’s effort goes just wide of the Pune FC goal after he latches on to a poor clearance by the Pune FC defence.

Pune FC put the game to bed in the 84th minute after a swift counter attack resulted in Nikhil Kadam laying it off for Sueoka who put a left foot drive in the back of the net to put Pune FC 3-1 in front. But just as we thought the game was up, Mohammed Rafi pulled one back in the 89th minute from a corner to make it 3-2 and set up a grand stand finish.

Darko Nikac nearly restored Pune FC’s two goal lead in the first minute of stoppage time after an exhilarating counter attack from the hosts. Pune FC survived a late onslaught from Mumbai FC to pick up all three points propelling themselves to the top of the I-League while condemning the visitors to the bottom of the pile.

Pune FC edged an intensely fought encounter against their rivals to edge the Maharashtra Derby. Pune FC now travel to Kolkatta to face Mohun Bagan while Mumbai FC play their first home game of the season against Sporting Club de Goa next week.

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