Nidhin Lal’s heroics help Mumbai FC keep Champions Bengaluru FC at bay

Mumbai FC Vs Bengaluru FC

Nidhin Lal produced a performance of his life time as Mumbai FC came from behind to earn a draw against Champions

Bengaluru FC at Cooperage on 3rd March 2015 in the Hero I-League

Both sides came into the game on the back of some good form. Mumbai FC were on a roll after winning three games on the spin before the game. Bengaluru too were fresh off an away win against Sporting Club de Goa in their last game.

The game got off to a slow start as both teams were settling into the scheme of things in the opening ten minutes.

The hosts conjured up their first opening in the 12th minute, after some brilliant play from Brazilian striker Josimar saw Ashutosh Mehta through on goal, only to be denied by an onrushing Lalthuammawia Ralte.

A minute later, Mumbai’s Josimar had the ball in the back of the net via a clever flick to a Taisuke shot. But the effort was rightly ruled out for offside.

Bengaluru had their best moment in front of the goal in the 17th minute when Keegan Pereira’s brilliant through ball found Sean Rooney in achres of space in front of the goal, but he somehow allowed Nidhin Kal to keep his effort out. It was a great chance for the visitors to take the lead.

Bengaluru FC started to create some openings in the Mumbai FC defence but had no way past an impressive Nidhin Lal who produced multiple saves to deny the Champions.

The best of the saves coming in the 25th minute when he acrobatically kept out Beikhokhei Beingaichho’s cross which threatened to sneak in.

But the Mumbai FC goalkeeper couldn’t do anything about Eugenson Lyngdoh’s strike which flew into the top corner in the 31st minute to give Bengaluru FC the lead.

Bengaluru FC had slowly grown into the game and were putting the hosts under considerable pressure.

Sunil Chhetri forced a brilliant save from Nidhin Lal in the 39th minute when he fired in a deflected cross goalwards.

Mumbai FC managed to stem the flow of Bengaluru attacks in the final minutes of the half but failed to make any inroads in their defence.

Bengaluru held their lead into the interval after an intense half of football which they had shaded in terms of possession and chances.

Mumbai FC came out all guns blazing in the second half and immediately put the visitors under pressure.

Josimar Da Silva nearly pulled Mumbai FC level after his thunderous drive came off the crossbar in the 49th minute.

But he wasn’t to be denied a minute layer when he headed home a cross from Ashutosh Mehta who has in abundance of space after some clever thinking from Taisuke.

The goal lifted the Cooperage crowd who were getting a lot more involved in the game as compared to the first half.

Bengaluru had some good chances around the hour mark, when Beikhokhei Beingaichho put in a vicious cross but there were no Bengaluru FC players on the end of it.

Eugenson Lyngdoh produced yet another brilliant save from Nidhin Lal who dived low to his left to deny Lyngdoh his second.

Bengaluru weathed the early storm in the second half and started to impose themselves on the game. But Mumbai FC were compact in defence, soaking up all the pressure from the visitors

There was a controversial moment in the 85th minute when Josimar seemed to have been brought down inside the box, but the referee thought otherwise, awarding Mumbai FC a corner.

Mumbai FC made a late change in the 87th minute when they brought on Abhishek Yadav in place of Mohammad Rafi.

Nidhin Lal produced a fantastic save from Sean Rooney’s header in the 93rd minute as he went flying to his right to deny the Bengaluru FC forward.

Despite the late changes from both sides failed to make the killer blow as the game ended level pegging at 1-1.

The point seems good for both sides as Mumbai kept their unbeaten home run intact, while Bengaluru came away with a point from a place where not many would manage to get anything from the game.

The draw keeps the two sides on the same spots as they started off. Mumbai remain 6th with eleven points while Bengaluru stay third with fourteen points.

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